Thursday 12 December 2019

Washington event focuses on boosting North's economy

Ministers and business leaders were gathering in Washington DC today for a conference on the economy in the North.

First Minister Peter Robinson joined Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and other Executive colleagues in the US for the one-day event hosted by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The gathering brought together more than 20 major American companies to hear what is available to them in the province.

Mrs Clinton's initiative in the State Department comes two years after ex-US President George Bush helped organise a US-NI investment conference in Belfast.

Since then, film-makers HBO and Universal, and the New York Stock Exchange, are among the notable US companies to invest in the city.

US economic envoy to Northern Ireland Declan Kelly was instrumental in organising the latest conference.

Last month, former US president Bill Clinton stressed the importance of securing more foreign investment.

In a keynote address at the University of Ulster in Derry, the 64-year-old pointed to a number of sectors that he believed could revive the region's troubled economy.

As well as attracting more multi-nationals, Mr Clinton urged greater use of sustainable energy sources and identified fish farming, arts and crafts and tourism as potential growth industries that could drive the recovery.

PA Media

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