Simon Hamilton backs Donald Trump as he lifts curtain on 42 new jobs
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton says he "looks forward to working closely" with US President-elect Donald Trump and wishes him "every success". But Mr Hamilton said: "I don't think any of us would stand over many of the controversial comments made by the billionaire businessman during his campaign."
He was speaking at the launch of 42 new Belfast technology jobs by London investment firm Moo.la.
Mr Hamilton said that the company's new office - which will add the well-paid posts over the next three years - is "another boost and exactly what we want to see coming into Belfast".
"I don't think we appreciate how strong (the technology sector) is. It's about 30,000 jobs - we are starting to get a good international reputation.
"It's about having a good skills pipeline. I was talking to the firm about why they chose Belfast, and there are impacts over lower cost, and it's based close to London, but it's the pipeline of really highly skilled people." The jobs will pay an average salary of £33,000. Invest NI has offered the firm £252,000 towards the creation of the new posts.
Speaking about President-elect Donald Trump, Mr Hamilton said: "I think a lot of people didn't expect a win for Donald Trump. But I congratulate him on his win. It's a really impressive victory.
"When he started in the primaries, everyone wrote him off - they said he was like a firework and would go off and disappear very quickly.
"I would wish him every success. No matter who wins the election, we need America to do well, the world needs America to do well and Northern Ireland has a very strong relationship with it."
He added: "The US is an incredibly important investor into Northern Ireland - there are about 185 American companies here employing 25,000 people.
"We congratulate him on his victory, and look forward to working with him and his administration to ensure that the very special and close bond continues."