Published Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Speaking on the final day of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Ms Villiers announced a new ministerial taskforce to improve the fortunes of NI's private sector.
But she warned it was "hard to see how Northern Ireland can reach its full economic potential while sectarian division continues to spill out on to the streets with disgraceful scenes of rioting and violence."
"The idea that British identity and culture can be defended by people who wrap themselves in the union flag and attack police officers with bricks and blast bombs and ceremonial swords is grotesque," she said.
"We in this party have always stood foursquare for the rule of law and we condemn all those who seek to attack and undermine it, whether that attack comes from rioters who call themselves loyalists or from the lethal dissident republicans who continue to plot murder and mayhem.
"So we stand fully behind the Police Service of Northern Ireland."
The spend on policing for parades, protests and associated disorder since April has topped £15m and almost 700 officers have been injured in the past year due to public disorder.
Last month, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott described the situation as "unsustainable".
In June the Government unveiled a new package of measures designed to help Northern Ireland compete for jobs and investment as well as improve social cohesion.
It included an investment plan that will see the UK Government deliver £18bn of capital funding for Northern Ireland by 2017.
The new taskforce will work to ensure finances get through to support entrepreneurs and businesses to boost the private sector.
Meanwhile UK Business Secretary Vince Cable visited Finance Minister Simon Hamilton and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster to discuss access to finance challenges.
The talks in Northern Ireland were attended by representatives of the local banking and finance industries.
Mr Hamilton said: "We stressed to him (Mr Cable) how important it was for our local banking system to be more competitive and to have a structured approach to working through the legacy of the past where a significant proportion of current debt is no longer performing.
"We don't want this acting as a drag on our recovery for any longer than it needs to be."
Ms Foster said that due to the structure of banking and collapse of the property market in the region, access to funds for companies in Northern Ireland was more challenging than in other parts of the UK.
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