17 March 2008 Upcoming US NI Investment Conference takes Center Stage
Washington, DC-The Northern Ireland Bureau hosted its annual St. Patrick’s event today with politicians and business leaders from Northern Ireland and the United States. Today’s reception previewed the forthcoming U.S.-NI Investment Conference by highlighting the investment opportunities available in Northern Ireland in a variety of sectors.
This year’s theme, “Investing in Northern Ireland,” has particular resonance given both the economic and political strides that have been made in recent years. This is a year for American businesses to challenge any preconceived notions they may have about Northern Ireland, and find a region filled with a highly skilled workforce, innovative enterprises, and a pro-growth climate.
Commenting on the vast economic potential awaiting U.S. investors, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “Our determination is to create a society where everyone can enjoy a better quality of life now and in years to come.
“Sustainable economic growth and increased prosperity will provide the opportunities and the means through which we can enhance quality of life, reduce poverty and disadvantage, increase health and wellbeing and build stronger, more sustainable and empowered communities.
“Building our economy provides us with the means to deliver a prosperous and stable society which benefits all our people. There is a transformation in the North of Ireland which is so exciting and so evident that sometimes it is difficult even for me to comprehend.
“When it comes to investment every one of my ministerial colleagues will make themselves available to help persuade prospective investors to make that final decision. How many other parts of the world can deliver a minister when he or she is needed? We can do it and we will and that’s a promise that I am happy to keep.”
With the U.S.-Northern Ireland Investment Conference on the horizon in May 2008, the Northern Ireland Executive has committed itself to cultivating potential investment opportunities in Northern Ireland. This year’s program featured a multi-media production offering its guests a full range of sector-specific information in the areas of telecommunications, financial services, software and life sciences. This captivating approach to promoting the strengths of the Northern Ireland economy was supplemented by first-hand accounts from Allstate Corporation and 3Par Inc., companies who have already chosen to invest in Northern Ireland.
Junior Minister Jeffrey Donaldson said “Northern Ireland is very much open for business.
The building blocks are in place - we have a talented and well educated workforce, our universities and training centres work directly with businesses and we have a business friendly infrastructure – one of the few regions with 100% broadband access.
We have good transportation links to the US, Great Britain and over 30 European economic regions. We are very cost competitive and we provide an attractive range of support mechanisms to help companies with their location and growth.
We also have something unique, in that we have two governments and the European Union giving specific support for the growth of our economy.
He closed his address by encouraging companies to participate in the forthcoming economic investment conference: “Many of you are regular visitors to Northern Ireland. Others among you have yet to experience it. I invite all of you to come and see the investment potential that exists.
“You will be able to talk to companies who have located in Northern Ireland and hear, at first hand, about the skilled workforce and the excellent labour relations that exist. Most importantly, you will gain a feel for the calmed atmosphere, the normality and the willingness of people to recover the ground lost and work towards a better future.”
This morning’s presentation was hosted by Northern Ireland Bureau Director, Norman Houston, and was joined at the podium by deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Junior Minister Jeffrey Donaldson, Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie, and U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland Paula Dobriansky.