Belfast Telegraph

Foster boosts NI Connections in South Africa

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Northern Ireland people living abroad can play a key role in helping to build a brighter economic future back home, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has said.

Speaking after attending a NI Connections event in Johannesburg, Arlene Foster said it was important to build a global network of people with Northern Irish roots.

The Minister added: “People from Northern Ireland are making a difference all over the world. Indeed, it’s often said that no matter where you are in the world, you will inevitably meet someone from Northern Ireland – and I have certainly found that to be the case.

“Northern Irish Connections is all about reconnecting with that ‘extended family’ and harnessing their goodwill with a view to making a big difference to our economy at home.

“We want to tell the world why it is such a great place to invest and visit. One of the ways in which we are doing that is by taking every possible opportunity to ‘spread the word’ on the international stage.

“I have been hugely impressed by the opportunities that exist for Northern Ireland companies in South Africa, and I know that the NI Connections network will continue to help build our reputation as a good trading partner.”

NI Connections Director, Grainne McVeigh, said: “Northern Irish Connections is delighted to support Invest NI in its trade mission to South Africa.

“Our goal is to provide a means for the Diaspora to connect with home and to have an opportunity to give back. We have created a Make a Difference Menu on the NI Connections website, which we hope people will check out and see how they can get involved.”

Notes to editors:

1. NI Connections members are: Ards Council, Belfast Harbour, British Council, George Best Belfast City Airport, Odyssey, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council, Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Ireland Science Park, Queens University Belfast, Titanic, Invest NI, Tourism Ireland, University of Ulster and Visit Belfast.

2. For more information on NI Connections, visit

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