MAYOR of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Councillor Gerry McMonagle will next week jointly lead a cross border delegation of civic leaders, businesses and officials when the Ireland North West Trade and Investment Mission travel to Philadelphia and Boston.
The visit is being organised to showcase the region as a prime location to do business and is part of the Councils’ joined up strategy to promote global inward investment and provide local businesses access to potential export opportunity.
The delegation will include 15 businesses from the North West, officers from both Councils as well as representatives from Udaras na nGaeltachta, Donegal Local Enterprise Office, the Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, the Nerve Centre, and the North West Regional College.
They will be meet with both the Mayors of Philadelphia and Boston and their respective economic development teams, where a busy itinerary will include meetings with Chambers of Commerce from across the North East of the United States, business leaders, as well as senior political representatives.
Several networking events have also been planned including an Ireland North West Showcase event, an Invest NI Breakfast event and culminating in attendance at the Golden Bridges conference at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Centre.
“This mission represents the continuation of the positive work over the last number of years to develop the North West’s cultural, political and economic links with the City of Boston and the greater Massachusetts area,” said Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council.
“Both Councils are working closely to promote our region as a well placed investment hub to do business and the ideal location for global companies who are seeking to establish a gateway to both the EU and UK markets.”
John Kelpie, Chief Executive, Derry City and Strabane District Council added: “The travelling companies will showcase our strong and diverse SME sector who have a global outlook spanning the creative, life science, agri-food and advance manufacturing and engineering industries.
“We will be selling the North West as a vibrant, diverse and resilient region and a compelling and attractive location for investment.
“We offer a cost competitive location to do business, a highly skilled, English speaking workforce, high speed broadband and an ambitious investment programme in infrastructure.
“Our Councils and businesses enjoy a strong, collaborative and strategic cross border partnership in a region that is the gateway to one of the world’s largest markets.”
As part of the trip, the Mayor and Cathaoirleach will also join Council officers for meetings with business leaders and officials in Philadelphia that will include a meeting with the Mayor of Philadelphia Senator Jim Kenney.
The visit to Philadelphia is also an opportunity for representatives from the University of Ulster, North West Regional College and Letterkenny IT to explore workforce development and apprenticeship programme partnerships.