Belfast Telegraph

UK and Irish in joint trade mission

Ministers from Britain and Ireland are to hold their first ever joint trade mission to Singapore.

British transport minister Stephen Hammond will join counterparts from Northern Ireland and the Republic to seek aviation investment from one of the world's most powerful economies.

Irish premier Enda Kenny said it was a significant step.

"Ministers from Dublin, Westminster and Stormont will embark in the coming days to Singapore on the first international joint trade mission," he said.

"Led by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, his Northern Ireland counterpart Arlene Foster, and British Transport Minister Stephen Hammond, the trade mission aims to pursue trade and investment opportunities in the aviation sector."

Billions of pounds are invested in Singapore by UK businesses, while the UK attracts two-thirds of Singapore's foreign direct investment into Europe.

Major past investors in the East Asian country include Rolls-Royce. The West Sussex-based firm's aeronautical production facility opened in Singapore in 2012.

Mr Kenny last met Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness in Japan in early December, where they were separately promoting trade and investment "to the benefit of both jurisdictions".

The Taoiseach told the Dail parliament in Dublin that administrations in the Irish capital and Belfast had committed to working for greater cross-border economic cooperation to accelerate the process of recovery and the creation of jobs on the island.

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