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Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness charm offensive mounted to win more US investment

By Staff Reporter

Published 15/03/2016

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Shaun Kelly, global chief operating officer for KPMG, and Invest NI chief Alastair Hamilton. They were outside the offices of KPMG International in Park Avenue, New York
First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Shaun Kelly, global chief operating officer for KPMG, and Invest NI chief Alastair Hamilton. They were outside the offices of KPMG International in Park Avenue, New York

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have vowed to do all they can to continue the growth of American investment in Northern Ireland.

On the first day of their St Patrick's week visit to the US, they said Northern Ireland's new 12.5% corporation tax rate would enhance its selling points for American investors.

Making her first visit to the US in her role as First Minister, Arlene Foster said: "We have a long and proud history of innovation excellence and a strong manufacturing heritage and pro-business economy which is contributing to a new vibrancy across Northern Ireland."

The pair attended a breakfast hosted by business advisers KPMG - which already has a major presence in Northern Ireland.

Breakfast was followed by lunch with potential investors.

And Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness added: "The US remains our largest source of foreign investors, with nearly 180 companies employing over 24,000 people here.

"We plan to build on this and convince more US companies the north of Ireland is the place to grow their business in Europe."

But the pair will not be visiting Northern Ireland's biggest US investor of recent times, Cerberus. A spokesman for the New York-based vulture fund, which controversially acquired Northern Ireland's Nama portfolio in 2014, said a visit was not taking place.

Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell told the Assembly yesterday that he did not believe the prospect of a Brexit would create a chill factor for potential investors in Northern Ireland.

The First and Deputy First Ministers also visit Washington and Silicon Valley, California, later this week.

Belfast Telegraph

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