The Ian and Marty show hits New York
Published 03/12/2007 | 11:03
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were today stepping out to give the City That Never Sleeps a wake-up call: "Northern Ireland is open for business ".
The faces of the province's joint political leaders were also due to be up in lights at the worlds' most famous junction — on the massive screen in Times Square.
The First and Deputy First Ministers were also breaking down business barriers by meeting senior figures from Wall Street.
On the opening day of their five-day first joint visit to the United States, the veteran Protestant firebrand and former IRA second-in-command were due to be welcomed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In a busy schedule the Stormont top two were taking part in a business breakfast with financial service executives, visit the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street and later in the day meeting 25 corporate chief ex ecutives.
Mr Paisley and Mr McGuinness then head on Wednesday for Washington, and a round of talks on Capitol Hill before meet President George Bush in the White House on Friday.
It is the first opportunity for Americans to see the former bitter rivals who now share the senior posts in a restored devolved government.
Mr Paisley said the trip "provides an opportunity to engage at the highest level with US business and political leaders. Northern Ireland is open for business ... we have never been in a better position to boost our economic prospects."
And Mr McGuinness added: "We would issue an open invitation to businesses here to come and see at first hand the attractions that we can offer in terms of the skills our people have to offer and the fact that we are an ideal location to assist your business with international growth."