Link Between US and Northern Ireland Business Bodies Welcomed

Oct 19, 2004

A Memorandum of Understanding to promote trade and investment between the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI), the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Centre, Denver was welcomed last night by Bruce Robinson, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI).
30/9/2004

A Memorandum of Understanding to promote trade and investment between the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI), the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Centre, Denver was welcomed last night by Bruce Robinson, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI).

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Belfast, Mr Robinson said: “The international focus which underpins this agreement is vitally important to improving the competitiveness of Northern Ireland’s companies. This focus also enhances our ability to compete successfully for further inward investment, particularly in technology sectors that bring important new techniques and ideas to Northern Ireland.

“The relationship with Denver reflects the commitment of DETI and Invest Northern Ireland to measures that will help to internationalise business here, ensuring our economy is an integral part of the global community.”

Such measures include:

· assisting companies to develop international business links through trade and a growing number of formal and informal partnerships between Denver and Northern Ireland;

· developing technology transfer linkages between our universities and those in international centres of expertise such as Denver, especially in fast growing sectors such as biotechnology and nanotechnology

· attracting further business investors to explore Northern Ireland's benefits as an ideal springboard to markets in the newly enlarged Europe and further afield.

“To promote the international business dimension, Invest NI offers Northern Ireland companies support for a comprehensive programme of trade activities including access to the practical assistance provided by Technology and Development Centres in Denver, Boston and Dubai,” he added.

Mr Robinson also acknowledged the work of the NICCI: “The Chamber has an outstanding track record in promoting business in Northern Ireland and has recently expanded its trade development role through its successful delivery of cross-border programmes.”

Dr Mark Sweeney, NICCI Deputy President, said: “As part of the world’s biggest business network, the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry is ideally positioned to encourage and to support efforts that enable our companies to compete in global markets.

“What the MOU between the two chambers and the World Trade Centre, Denver will seek to do is to develop further an infrastructure of practical support for companies. It will create a framework within which there will be a series of business activities that will strengthen relationships and friendships,” he added.

Joe Blake, President, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said: “The growing business reflects the combination of entrepreneurial talent and highly educated workforce in both Northern Ireland and the Denver Metro area.”

World Trade Center Denver President, Jim Reis, said: “To be successful in the long term, international trade has to benefit both sides. The business agreements fostered by the NITDC Denver reflect that international trade often results in jobs being created for both sides.”

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