OVER 120 business chiefs attended the inaugural Ireland Day at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Some 25 Irish companies were operating on the LSE as of last October, with a market capitalisation of €45.9bn. Thirty were listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), with a market capitalisation of €2.5bn.
The inaugural London event followed the launch of Ireland INC, the international Irish business network, at the Ireland Day event at the New York Stock Exchange last year. Ireland INC founder Ian Hyland opened the proceedings yesterday by ringing the bell.
He said the event acknowledged the unique economic relationship between Ireland and Britain.
Mr Hyland added: "It builds on the outstanding achievements following the establishment of the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce and the queen's visit to Ireland, marking a strengthening of ties between the two countries in trading and cultural terms."
Those on stage at the LSE included Mr Hyland; Alexander Justham of the LSE; Tony O'Reilly of Providence Resources; Leslie Buckley of Digicel Group and Independent News & Media; Paul Price of Morgan Stanley Investment Management; Eamonn Sinnott of Intel; Paul Connolly of Connolly Capital and Independent News & Media; and Basil Geoghegan of Citigroup.
FTSE Top 100 British Companies own or partly own 771 businesses in Ireland, with the United Kingdom being one of Ireland's main trading partners.
Panel discussions looked at initiatives to encourage a further deepening of trade relations between Ireland and Great Britain.
Alexander Justham, LSE chief, said the UK and Ireland had one of the oldest and closest economic relationships in the world.
Speakers at the event included Christine Esson, UK Manager of Enterprise Ireland; Basil Geoghegan, Citigroup Managing Director; Irish Ambassador to Britain Bobby McDonagh; and Alderman Ian Luder, Governor of The Irish Society
Baroness Detta O'Cathain, an Irish-born businesswoman in Britain, was honoured for her contribution to Ireland.