NI leaders on USA business mission

NI leaders on USA business mission

NI's leaders are on a five day visit to America in a bid to strengthen business and tourism links with the country.

Visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, the trip involves meetings with potential and existing investors.First Minister Peter Robinson said that the Northern Ireland Executive has put the development of the economy "at the heart" of our Programme for Government."Engaging with the United States is a vital element of the economic and political development of Northern Ireland."The United States is the number one source of foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland with165 US owned businesses and over 18,000 employees. The United States is also significant to our export market, which in 2012/13 exported £534 million to the United States," the DUP leader added."I look forward to a very informative and productive visit and I will be availing of every opportunity to attract further investment and increase tourism to Northern Ireland."Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that a strong bond exists between the US and the north of Ireland."Over the last five years, US owned companies generated over 4,300 jobs, resulting in £137 million of salaries and investment in Research &Development of £100 million."Foreign Direct Investment brings many benefits creating new jobs and helping to boost economic growth. It also generates additional opportunities within the local supply chain and leads to the expansion and growth of many home-grown businesses," the Sinn Féin MLA added."International relationships are developed through face to face meetings and this week offers another opportunity to strengthen relations with the US and pursue opportunities to grow our economy."Arrived Los Angeles last night, meeting Seagate & HBO execs & opening new Invest offices in San Fran.pic Rockies pic.twitter.com/CFd8j7cSBi— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) March 9, 2014

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