Wed 13th Mar 2019
Chambers North & South Show United Front in United States
Business groups Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Dublin Chamber will host a number of joint high-level meetings in Washington DC.
The two Chambers have arranged the meeting of their senior representatives as a show of continued commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and in support of continued integration between the businesses communities in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Around 20 representatives from the two Chambers have made the trip to Washington DC, which has been organised to coincide with the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Meetings are also being held during the visit –running from today (13 March) until Friday (15 March) – with American business leaders and US representative groups to affirm that the island of Ireland is open for business.
The Washington DC mission will also include meetings with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and DUP, Sinn Fein and British Government representatives as well as a visit to a St Patrick’s Day reception in The White House.
Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “Never has there been a time when the Chamber of Commerce movement has been so important. This joint programme of meetings comes at a time when the business communities in Northern Ireland and Ireland continue to be firm advocates for the strengthening of cross-border infrastructure and cooperation. It is extremely disappointing that Northern Ireland yet again visits the US without an Executive in place and without a First & Deputy First Minister. We will therefore work together to persuade US businesses that despite this, Northern Ireland is very much open for business.”
Mary Rose Burke, Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber, said: “Regardless of Brexit, the business communities north and south of the border are fully committed to the Good Friday Agreement and to furthering the high level of integration that already exists. The free movement of people and goods throughout the island of Ireland has been a major positive for both the north and south and it is important that this remains the case. There are more than 110 million crossings over the border each year – more than 15 million of which are heavy or medium goods vehicles. Millions more of those journeys are accounted for by business people, commuters and tourist, reaffirming the importance of no hard border on the island.”