Skip to main content

Senior US business delegation to visit Northern Ireland

Published on 24 October 2023

A senior US business delegation has begun a four-day visit to Northern Ireland.

The delegation, which includes business and investment leaders from the United States, will meet representatives from a range of business, academic and civic leaders across Northern Ireland.

They will also have the opportunity to visit some of the region’s most popular tourist attractions.

The Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Jayne Brady will join Joseph Kennedy III, the US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs on Tuesday for the start of the visit.

The trip will be Mr Kennedy’s fourth visit to Northern Ireland since his appointment, having previously been in Belfast during the visit by President Joe Biden and during events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Ms Brady said the delegation’s trip was building on the US business relationship established during President Biden’s visit, and the Investment Summit in September.

“When President Biden announced the business delegation in April 2023, he understood the strong investment opportunity Northern Ireland has to offer US investors,” she said.

“Building on September’s Investment Summit, this visit will highlight to the most senior of US business leaders what makes Northern Ireland a compelling investment proposition.

“The programme, which is a collaborative effort between business, academia and government, will showcase key elements of that proposition; our global reputation as a trusted business partner in key sectors, our thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, our young talented workforce and our deep expertise in research and innovation, supported by world leading universities and supercharged by our multi-billion-pound city and growth deals.

“We will be providing curated sessions across Northern Ireland to highlight our key sectors, where we already compete globally, including advanced manufacturing and net zero, software and fintech, life and health sciences and the creative industries.

“I have no doubt the delegation will be impressed and perhaps surprised with what we have achieved already and the strength of what we have on offer for future investment.”

Members of the delegation include the Honourable Thomas P DiNapoli, New York state comptroller; Mark Hartney of Breakthrough Energy Ventures and John Murphy, president and chief financial officer at The Coca-Cola Company.

Special Envoy Kennedy said 230 companies from the United States have a presence in Northern Ireland and around 80% of those companies have reinvested.

“They believe in the people and opportunity in Northern Ireland and over the next few days, I want to help share that proposition with the delegation,” he said.

“They will learn about Northern Ireland’s highly skilled and motivated talent pool, driven by its world-class universities and colleges.

“They will also witness first-hand how 1,200 international companies benefit from competitive operating costs, world-class suppliers, and unparalleled broadband coverage.”

The delegation will visit a range of businesses across Northern Ireland as well as both Queen’s University and Ulster University campuses.

There is not currently a functioning devolved government in Northern Ireland due to the DUPs ongoing boycott of power sharing in protest against post-Brexit trading arrangements.

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has welcomed the delegation’s visit.

Speaking after a meeting with Mr DiNapoli, Mr Donaldson said there were major opportunities for US investors in Northern Ireland firms.

“The links between Northern Ireland and the United States are not just historical and cultural, but there are significant economic ties also.

“There are thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland as a result of American firms investing here and we want to see that continue and grow.

“We have a talented workforce and in areas like cybersecurity and the financial services sector there are major opportunities here in Northern Ireland.”

He added: “Moving forward on the basis of cross-community consensus can ensure that we can secure political stability to underpin economic growth.”

Source: Irish News (link opens in new window)