British Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that the 2013 G8 summit will take place in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be among the world’s most powerful leaders in attendance at the Castle Hume Lough and Lower Lough Erne resorts on June 17 and 18.
Cameron said he thinks the summit will be a great opportunity to advertise Northern Ireland.
He said, “I want the world to see just what a fantastic place Northern Ireland is - a great place for business, a great place for investment, a place with an incredibly educated and trained workforce ready for international business.”
Lough Erne has a fantastic golf course and he joked about “keeping President Obama off the golf course.”
Cameron’s decision has met with approval from many leaders. Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said, “For the duration of the summit the spotlight will be on Northern Ireland and when the world’s media arrives here to report on the summit, we will ensure that the message that goes out is that Northern Ireland is not only a top visitor destination, but also a great place to do business.”
Brian Ambrose, chairman of Tourism Ireland, said the summit will increase tourism in Northern Ireland. He said the summit “will raise the profile of Northern Ireland and ultimately help us achieve our goal of increasing visitor numbers from overseas.”
The leaders at the summit won’t just be talking about Northern Ireland. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the leaders will meet to discuss the international issues facing the world today. He added, “not least the situation in the Middle East, in Syria and Palestine between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
Cameron arrived at Stormont Castle and was greeted by Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, First Minister Peter Robinson, and First Deputy Minister Martin McGuinness. Cameron is scheduled to have talks with them, which will likely discuss the possibility of empowering Northern Ireland to lower its corporate tax rate. Northern Ireland’s current rate is 24% and lowering it could make Northern Ireland more competitive with the Republic of Ireland where the rate is 12.5%.
Lough Erne is a five star golf resort that opened in 2007, but went into administration in May of 2011. It has been on the market since last September for $16 million reports the BBC. The hotel has 120 rooms and suites and a banquet hall that can hold 400 people.
The G8 Summit was held in Gleneagles in Scotland the last time the UK hosted the summit in 2005.