Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster will tell US President Barack Obama that 'our wee country' should be top of the list for investment

By Rebecca Black

"I am absolutely committed to making this country a success" the First Minister vowed on Friday night

DUP leader Arlene Foster will be paying a four day visit to the United States, and says she will sell a positive message of Northern Ireland during her trip.

She said: "I will tell President Obama – and in fact anyone who will listen – the positive news that ‘our wee country’ is one they should put at the top of their list to visit and invest in."

Mrs Foster made the comments on Friday evening as she was speaking to the Lisburn and Castlereagh Business Awards she praised Northern Ireland’s business community and said their contribution is not taken for granted.

"There is a well-worn phrase that bad news makes a good headline – but that is a mind-set I would like to change," she said.

"The business community is generating a lot of good news and I believe that makes a great story for Northern Ireland. It's one we should be shouting from the rooftops. We should be articulating this upbeat message at every possible opportunity.

"That’s what I will be doing when I go to America next week. I will tell President Obama – and in fact anyone who will listen – the positive news that ‘our wee country’ is one they should put at the top of their list to visit and invest in.

"This year we will have over 80 cruise ships visiting Belfast, we've complaints of too many tourists at 'The Dark Hedges' and we have tour buses travelling all throughout the country. This was unimaginable when I was growing up. People steered clear of here rather than visit. We're going in the right direction.  We've first class visitor attractions in every county and I want to play my part in bringing people from all over the world to see them.

"My top priority is bringing more and better jobs here. That's why when others had thrown in the towel on Corporation Tax we didn't. The DUP stood alone but we delivered. This will revolutionise doing business in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is second only to London at attracting investment into the United Kingdom and that was during a downturn. 

"Next week I will visit companies in New York, Washington DC and San Francisco.  I will be selling all the advantages of doing business in Northern Ireland. Having the lowest rate of corporate tax in Western Europe gives us an incredible advantage. 

"In me you have a First Minister who will always speak positively about Northern Ireland. I will not talk this country down. I was born here and love this place. I am absolutely committed to making this country a success."

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