NI leaders hold talks with Japan's PM

Published Monday, 02 December 2013
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First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have held talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

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The meeting took place on their first full day of a business mission to Japan.

The Stormont leaders discussed the development of investment, cultural and educational links with Japan.

Later, they are due to have talks with other political representatives and potential investors to promote trade, investment and tourism.

The four-day visit follows an invitation extended to the Ministers during the G8 Summit by Japanese Prime Minister Abe.

Mr Robinson said: "It was an enormous pleasure to accept the invitation from Prime Minister Abe to come to Japan to develop Government to Government links and explore opportunities to grow our respective economies. This meeting has provided a valuable opportunity to promote everything great that Northern Ireland has to offer on a global scale."

He added that one of the key objectives of NI's Programme for Government 2011-15 is to grow the economy and tackle disadvantage.

"We consider this can be achieved by promoting our capabilities internationally and developing mutually beneficial relationships with targeted countries, regions and international organisations," the First Minister continued.

"Japan is one of the world's leading economies however Northern Ireland has a lot to offer. Today's meeting underlines our commitment to develop and strengthen our relationship with Japan. We are determined to explore all areas where we can both benefit with a particular focus on our economy, education and cultural links."

Mr McGuinness described the meeting as "very positive."

He said that Japanese companies employ over 2,500 people in the north, before adding that their growth and longevity is testimony to the Japanese culture and commitment to long-term sustainable investments.

"Forging further links with the Japanese business community, attracting new inward investment and realising greater growth and two-way business development exchanges between our two countries is an important priority to help grow our global competitiveness," Mr McGuinness added.

"The meeting gave us the opportunity to talk about the development of investment, cultural and educational links."

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3 Comments
Sam1690 in Ballysillan wrote (136 days ago):
The funny thing is that Ireland (who took a bail out from us in the UK) are advertising 'ireland' at their expense and we are 'piggybacking' on ignorance of international jurisdiction and stealing their tigers' thunder. We have a world leading agri-food industry. Denny, Moy park, O'Kaynes, Wilson's, to name but a few. this is the 3rd biggest economy in the worl
Dublin in Dublin wrote (138 days ago):
Good to see all leaders North and South promoting Ireland out in Japan this week.
Joe in Co Down wrote (138 days ago):
Good to see our leaders in Japan same time as our Taoiseach Enda.
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