First Minister and deputy First Minister open US/NI Aerospace business event in Washington

First Minister Rt Hon Peter D. Robinson, MLA, and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA today opened a US-NI Aerospace business event in Washington.

The event, organised by Invest Northern Ireland, was an opportunity for nine of Northern Ireland’s leading aerospace companies to meet buyers from four major US aerospace firms, in a bid to gain new business. The US aerospace companies include: Honeywell Aerospace, Parker Hannifin, Pratt & Whitney and Spirit AeroSystems.

The one-on-one meetings are a direct result of the US firms being key Bombardier Aerospace suppliers. Invest NI is working closely with Bombardier Aerospace teams in Belfast and Montréal to maximise the economic impact of Bombardier’s aircraft programmes in Northern Ireland.

Mr Robinson said: "Today’s event is a significant opportunity for Northern Ireland’s aerospace firms to form meaningful business relationships with major US companies working in the sector. The aerospace industry in Northern Ireland comprises over 40 companies, with a combined annual turnover in excess of $1billion. These meetings will enable our highly innovative design and manufacturing businesses to extend their reach in global markets and support the future growth of the economy in Northern Ireland."

Mr McGuinness said: "This region’s aerospace industry employs over 8,000 people and continues to invest significantly in research and development, skills and efficiency processes. It is important our local firms use today’s event to showcase their world class expertise. By building genuine, mutually beneficial relationships with these US businesses, our aerospace companies can maximise the global opportunities in this lucrative industry."

"The Invest NI organised event, presents a tremendous opportunity for increased trade partnerships between the US and Northern Ireland. The hope is that the company meetings taking place in Washington today will create new business relationships that will have a positive economic impact on both sides of the Atlantic, and I am delighted to lend my support to that initiative,” stated US Economic Envoy Declan Kelly.