Robinson and McGuinness Host Business Reception to Celebrate Strong Links with Japan
First Minister the Rt Hon Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have hosted a business reception in London for Japanese investors.
The purpose of the reception was to build on the strong relationship that has developed between the two countries and take advantage of the momentum generated by the Ministers’ visit to Japan in December 2013.
Over 50 current and potential Japanese investors, members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in London, and Ambassador Hayashi from the Japanese embassy attended the reception.
The First Minister Peter Robinson said: “This event is a valuable opportunity to recognise the deep and mutually beneficial relationship that continues to develop between Northern Ireland and Japan and to show the Executive’s commitment to supporting overseas companies to invest in Northern Ireland.
“Japan is an important and growing trading partner for Northern Ireland with exports currently worth in excess of £32million. In recent months over 700 new jobs have been created by Japanese companies such as Terumo, Fujitsu and Ryobi. As a result of new investment and continued re-investment, our six major Japanese businesses will be employing almost 3,500 people in Northern Ireland in the next few years.
“The Northern Ireland Executive will continue to develop our Government to Government links to increase trade between the two countries and to explore every opportunity to grow our respective economies.”
The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “Japanese companies employ over 2,500 people in the north of Ireland and their growth and longevity is testimony to the Japanese culture and commitment to long-term sustainable investments.
“Japan remains the largest source of foreign direct investment to the north from Asia-Pacific through Fujitsu, Ryobi, JTI, Terumo BCT, Canyon and Kyocera. Tonight offers a useful opportunity to connect with the Japanese business community and attract further inward investment.
“We are keen to develop not just our business links, but also our cultural and educational links with Japan. We are encouraged to see growing numbers of Japanese tourists in the north of Ireland and are ready to welcome more in 2014.”
The reception was followed by a private dinner for the Ministers hosted by Ambassador Hayashi.