A Lower rate of corporation tax would \'transform\' the Northern Ireland economy, according to a former Secretary of State. The Rt Honourable Lord John Reid of Cardowen was speaking at the R3 Annual Dinner in Titanic Belfast to over 270 restructuring experts and said that the benefits of such a move would be wide ranging. \"A lower rate of corporation tax will help transform the economy through encouraging enterprise and reducing our dependency,\" he said. \"The benefits could include increased foreign direct investment; productivity; investment in research and investment; and employment, with various studies suggesting that an estimated 70,000 to 90,000 additional jobs could be created over a 20-year period.\" Corporation tax in Northern Ireland currently stands at 24% but proponents of the devolution of tax-setting powers believe it needs to drop to compete with companies in the Republic who only pay 12.5% tax. \"Lowering corporation tax is no substitute for rebalancing the economy in favour of the private sector over the longer term - indeed it\'s no panacea - but I firmly believe that the arguments weigh in favour of devolving and reducing corporate tax,\" Lord Reid added.