DERRY's efforts on reconciliation, parades and politics can be a blue print for other communities, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore told business leaders in the city tonight.
Mr Gilmore said Derry's year as UK City of Culture had secured the city's reputation as a creative and vibrant place.
At the annual dinner of the city's Chamber of Commerce, the Tanaiste said the Republic had been working to restore its own reputation, with employment now rising.
"This year Derry has been ... an example of what can happen when a city works as one," Mr Gilmore said.
"When you took on the UK City of Culture, you matched that sense of common purpose to a vision, ambition and professionalism.
"In doing so, I believe you have created a bridge to the future, a legacy that will endure, one that has secured this city’s reputation as a vibrant and creative place. "
Just as Derry has been awakening towards this point for some time, this year the world has awakened to Derry's presence on the international cultural scene."
Mr Gilmore said Derry and the North West region had outstanding assets, including location, people and reputation.
"This city knows what it is to reach out. The efforts you have made towards reconciliation and a shared approach to tackling difficult issues are also a central element in this city’s reputation," he said.
"On parades, on politics, on pride in your city, on so much you show the way.
"These efforts are noticed. They are respected. They can be a blueprint for other communities."
A 35 year old man was also shot dead at a flat in the Derry last week.
Mr Gilmore said that as the city is within ten miles from the border with Donegal, Derry can be a regional hub for the entire North West.
The Tanaiste also briefed the city's business leaders on the Budget.
"This week we passed a budget that will take us out of the bailout, returning us to the markets and restoring our economic sovereignty before the end of this year."