Stormont political leaders today ended a US visit and predicted American companies would invest in the North despite the gloomy economic climate.
First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness’ four-day trip included a meeting with outgoing US President George Bush and ended today in talks with the New York State Comptroller.
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Mr Robinson and Sinn Féin’s Mr McGuinness said the trip had been successful.
Mr Robinson said: “Over the course of the last four days we have been welcomed by some of the most powerful and influential people in America, all of whom have expressed a keen interest in the opportunities that Northern Ireland has to offer.
“I am confident that our presence here this week will lead to more US-based companies taking up those opportunities.”
Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness met New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli today, who has authority over major investment funds.
Mr McGuinness said the week’s engagements, which included meeting US business leaders at the Fortune 500 event in Washington, had encouraged his belief that America remained ready to support the peace process.
“I am very encouraged by what we have heard during the course of our visit,” he said.
“There is tremendous support amongst corporate America for what we are trying to achieve with our economy at home.
“Time after time this week we have been granted access to some of the most important people in the American business world.
“Despite the difficult economic climate I leave the United States very hopeful for the future.”