A joint delegation from Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and Dublin Chamber have concluded a two day visit to Toronto, as part of a week-long international showcase in North America.
Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, ‘Advantage’ has been designed to promote Northern Ireland and Ireland as great places to do business. At the beginning of the week, the group have visited key locations in downtown Toronto and the Brampton innovation district.
They were welcomed to Toronto at a reception hosted by Acting British Consul General Greg Quinn OBE, held in his official residence and attended by stakeholders, agencies, business people and diaspora.
Mr. Quinn said: “We are honoured to be hosting an event that brings everyone together to celebrate the vibrancy of Northern Ireland and thetraditions that make it so unique. We look forward to the building of new connections and the strengthening of existing ones.”
Gillian McAuley, President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry is leading the NI delegation. The Canadian leg of the trip has particular resonance for Mrs. McAuley, who was born in Northern Ireland before emigrating to Canada as a child:
“In 1998, just after the signing of the agreement, I was living in Vancouver and during an Easter Church service with my parents, heard the Minister speak about Northern Ireland and the signing of the agreement. At that moment, the idea of returning home became a possibility. In 2001, I made it a reality and have gone on to build a home, a family and a career in a place that I love.
“I am passionate about this place, its people and the possibilities that are within our grasp. The positive messages we have been sharing have been warmly welcomed by everyone we’ve met here this week. As a Chamber, we are looking forward to building on the new connections the group has made and seeing the partnership opportunities we’ve identified coming to fruition.”
Stephen O’Leary, President, Dublin Chamber added:
“Our joint trade mission is an exciting opportunity for the Dublin and Northern Ireland Chambers of Commerce to showcase the strong, enduring relationship between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and our shared commitment to strengthening economic ties.
“Together, we will demonstrate the vibrancy and innovation of our member companies, showcase the shared island of Ireland as a dynamic and attractive destination to invest in, visit and trade with, and prove the value and impact our Chambers deliver for our members and stakeholders.”
The delegation now travel to Washington D.C. where they will be involved in a series of high-profile engagements between 14-17 March.