More than 600 delegates attended the recent InterTradeIreland Business Summit ‘23 in Belfast, during which speakers focused on innovation, sustainability, and ambition.
The event saw a stellar line-up of business leaders from across the island including former Irish rugby international and successful entrepreneur Brian O'Driscoll, leading economist and broadcaster David McWilliams and Tina McKenzie CEO of Staffline Ireland.
Speaking about the event, Margaret Hearty, InterTradeIreland's Chief Executive Officer, said,
The InterTradeIreland Business Summit ’23 was an opportunity for businesses, policy makers and stakeholders from across the island to gather together, and to gain insights from some of our leading entrepreneurs into how future growth can be enhanced by embracing emerging technologies, digitalisation, decarbonisation and sustainability.
In the 25th anniversary year of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, the event also highlighted the prosperity achieved in two and half decades, and demonstrated how making connections and supporting collaboration across the island can create new opportunities and deliver higher levels of economic growth.
The event was chaired by BBC broadcast journalist Mark Simpson, with panellists sharing their insights on sustainability, automation, digitalisation, productivity and all-island business growth and cross-border opportunities.
Keynote speaker economist David McWilliams commented,
This was a unique event with cross-border collaboration at its core, and highlighted the economic potential for more businesses across the island to trade, source and supply. It was also a chance for businesses of all sizes to really ponder how the pace of technological change will impact on them - because make no mistake we are very much in period of rapid innovation.
Speaking about his own sporting career and the lessons that can be applied to business, rugby legend and entrepreneur Brian O’Driscoll reflected on the power of teamwork and collaboration to generate new ideas.
Working together is critical to achieve success on the rugby pitch. It is how you drive forward. The same is true in the business world and events like these are hugely beneficial. The flow of information and the take home points will hopefully have given everybody in the room some inspiration to generate their own success.
The event was organised by InterTradeIreland, the all-island trade and business development body. InterTradeIreland was established under strand two of the Good Friday Agreement to grow cross-border trade and identify opportunities for economic co-operation between both parts of the island. The organisation supports businesses to grow their export potential, collaborate on cross-border innovation opportunities to increase their competitiveness, and access funding to accelerate growth.