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Belfast Lord Mayor welcomes US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland and senior business delegation

Published on 25 October 2023

Belfast Lord Mayor councillor Ryan Murphy has hosted a reception for US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Joseph Kennedy III and his senior business delegation at City Hall, attended by a wide range of city and regional partners and business representatives.

Guests also included several One Young World ambassadors, along with recent graduates from Belfast City Council’s employment academies representing the city’s young leaders and strong talent pool.

The reception was part of a wider programme led by The Executive Office, Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland.

Lord Mayor councillor Ryan Murphy, said:

We’ve been looking forward to supporting this delegation since President Biden announced it during his visit to Belfast in April.  It’s a welcome opportunity to celebrate the many very special connections we have with the US from diplomatic relations to investment, knowledge sharing, tourism, education, and cultural exchange.

It’s given us a platform to proudly showcase our city’s transformation, our investment proposition, our strengths in tech, innovation, talent, education, the creative and screen industries, and more. We’ve also shared our exciting plans for our year of culture, Belfast 2024, hosting EURO 2028 and creating the landmark city centre visitor attraction, Belfast Stories. Our strength sectors are set for continued growth, thanks to the £1billion Belfast Region City Deal programme of investment over the next decade – and we’re supporting that with skills programmes to connect people to new and better jobs and services.

We’ve set out a giant and bold ambition for this city in The Belfast Agenda – including attracting an additional 66,000 residents by 2035; and we’ll soon be going out to seek a long-term master developer partner to develop residential-led, mixed-use schemes to the value of over half a billion pounds to catalyse that growth. With the help of our friends and investors, we’ll achieve our city ambitions and improve quality of life for everyone living here.

Also speaking at the event was 24-year-old Gabrielle Feenan, designer, entrepreneur and Young Enterprise Northern Ireland (YENI) ambassador who shared the opportunities she’s benefitted from through YENI’s Connect USA programme.

This included visiting New York and Boston to pitch Korkki, her sustainable furniture company, welcoming President Biden at Ulster University during his visit in April and attending the One Young World Summit in Belfast earlier this month. Echoing the words of Belfast Lord Mayor councillor Ryan Murphy, Gabrielle spoke of the importance of creating an inclusive society, and emphasised the importance of continuing to guide and support this generation of positive change makers.

Source: NewsLetter (link opens in new window)