Party group leaders at Belfast City Council welcomed the new U.S. Consul General James Applegate to City Hall today to share the city’s ambitions for future inclusive growth.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy, hosted a breakfast meeting attended by Councillor Séamas de Faoite, Councillor Michael Long, Councillor Dean McCullough, Councillor Ronan McLaughlin, Alderman Jim Rodgers and Councillor Brian Smyth.
Councillor Murphy said: “It’s important that the U.S. Consul General can engage with representatives from across the political spectrum and hear of our joint ambitions for our city as we refresh our plan for the city – the Belfast Agenda.
“As an organisation, we’re working collectively to make our city a better place to study, live, visit, do business and invest in. We’re fortunate to have very close ties with the U.S. through our Sister City relationships with Boston and Nashville. We continue to seek opportunities to work together to improve the lives of our citizens, better our communities and enhance our economic performance.
“It’s clear to see the continued strength of transatlantic support and interest in Belfast – that’s been demonstrated through the recent appointment of a Special Economic Envoy, a Presidential visit, and the recent NI Investment Summit. I personally witnessed the heightened interest and willingness of America to support Belfast when I attended New York New Belfast back in June – and we’re looking forward to hosting the U.S. Special Envoy’s business delegation before the end of the month.
“There’s been over $2 billion dollars invested in Belfast over the last decade and we’ve seen a 64% increase in US students this year alone. Our relationship with the U.S. is delivering tangible and positive change to our city and we see opportunities for additional mutual collaborative benefits on the near horizon, including through the delivery of the transformative Belfast Region City Deal programme of investment and working with the US Life and Health Sciences Advisory Board that aims to strengthen trade and investment opportunities.
“We very much look forward to developing a positive and productive relationship with Mr Applegate in his role as U.S. Consul General over the coming months.”
For more information on Belfast’s investment proposition, go to www.investinbelfast.com