It was announced on Tuesday that Theresa Villiers will replace Owen Paterson in the role, following Prime Minister David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Paterson had been a strong advocate for devolving the powers to set the rate of business tax to the Stormont Executive.
Now that he has become Environment Secretary, it is not known if his replacement will press ahead with the cause.
"The thing I'm picking up that might depress politicians is this could be the end of the possibility of corporation tax being devolved," said UTV's Political Editor Ken Reid.
"Owen Paterson was fighting for that case in the cabinet.
"If Owen Paterson is now out of the mix, I suspect the possibility of corporation tax being devolved is slipping further and further away."
I am acutely conscious of the need to continue our efforts to rebalance the Northern Ireland economy.
Currently the level of corporation tax in Northern Ireland is 28%, while the Republic of Ireland sits at 12.5%.
Business leaders argue that lowering the rate could attract investment and in turn create jobs.
Glyn Roberts of the NI Independent Retail Trade Association called on Ms Villiers to "make a priority" of the corporation tax issue.
He said: "We look forward to working with Theresa Villiers and would encourage her to make a priority of moving forward the current talks on Corporation Tax and indeed working with devolved Ministers on establishing Enterprise Zones in Northern Ireland.
"NIIRTA had an excellent working relationship with Owen Paterson both in opposition and government and he deserves considerable credit for advancing the whole issue of devolving Corporation Tax to the Northern Ireland Executive."
In a statement, Ms Villiers said she is looking forward to taking up the post.
"This is a great opportunity which I relish," she said. "Huge progress has been made in Northern Ireland over recent years.
"The Government will of course continue to stand by the agreements made over the past two decades and the political institutions they have established.
"In addition the Government will maintain the utmost pressure on those who resort to terrorism and violence to pursue their objectives.
"I look forward to working with the Executive, political parties and people from right across the community to build a stable, peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland for everyone."
Local politicians have urged Ms Villiers to outline her position on the devolution of tax control measures and other local issues.
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said: "I look forward to meeting Theresa Villiers but in the meantime urge her to clarify whether she will be supportive of the devolution of the powers to vary Corporation Tax to Northern Ireland as Owen Paterson was."
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said: "There are a range of outstanding issues arising from the Good Friday, St Andrews and Hillsborough Agreements which need to be progressed, including a Bill of Rights for the north, as well as other important matters like Corporation Tax and cross border economic development."
SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said: "I look forward to working with her across the wide range of issues we will face, most particularly on the economic front and hope that she can move the issue of corporation tax forward."
Meanwhile the First Minister, Peter Robinson, said he wants to meet the newly appointed NI Secretary as soon as possible.
"I look forward to working with Theresa on a wide range of outstanding issues which require her urgent attention," said the DUP leader.
"I thank Owen for his efforts as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland over the past five years and wish him every success in his new post as Secretary of State for Environment."
Ken Reid looked at Ms Villiers' background as she prepares to enter the role.
He said: "She is 44 years of age, a junior minister in transport, former MEP and a barrister by profession - and she seemed quite chirpy going into Downing Street.
"She's a great cyclist I'm told and quite a character."
Shadow NI Secretary Vernon Coaker also welcomed her to the office.
"I want to work with her in a bipartisan and co-operative way on issues like security and parading, whilst continuing to hold the government to account on these and other issues such as the economy and welfare reform," said the Labour MP.
"Owen Paterson has held the Conservatives' Northern Ireland brief for a significant number of years. We disagreed on many aspects of his government's policies in relation to Northern Ireland, but I know that Owen had a deep affection for Northern Ireland and its people.
"I wish him good luck in his new post."