Northern Irish business leaders will once again assemble in Washington, D.C. next week for a business briefing relating to growing investment by U.S. companies in the region.

Senior members of the U.S. business community will hear about investment opportunities in Northern Ireland at a special conference on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day.

The briefing, entitled “Northern Ireland Economic Update: New Opportunities For Transatlantic Trade and Investment,” will be hosted by Declan Kelly, the U.S. economic envoy to Northern Ireland, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Northern Irish First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will be among the speakers on March 16, as well as representatives from existing U.S. corporate investors in Northern Ireland.

The event comes in the wake of the success of last October’s U.S.-Northern Ireland economic conference spearheaded by Kelly and hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the U.S. capital.
Speaking about the upcoming business briefing, Kelly said it aimed to highlight the increased opportunities for foreign direct investment as well as enhancing the growing trade links between the U.S. and Northern Ireland.

"The event provides an excellent forum to present the Northern Ireland business case to senior corporate leaders from a wide range of industries, including the key sectors for Northern Ireland," Kelly said.

"Northern Ireland today is one of the most attractive locations in the world for inward investment, and companies have continued to invest in the region despite challenging global economic conditions," he added.

The U.S. continues to be one of Northern Ireland’s biggest investors. Last year alone saw the creation of hundreds of jobs following business ventures by companies such as Dow Chemical, Terex Corporation and Kana Software.

As part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the U.S., McGuinness will be joined by Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams in Washington for the St. Patrick’s Day luncheon hosted annually by the speaker of the House, this year John Boehner, as well as a meeting with the Friends of Ireland.

Adams, who was recently elected to the Dail (Irish Parliament), will be meeting with Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, as part of his visit, according to Rita O’Hare, Sinn Fein’s U.S. representative.

“Gerry will also travel to New York on Friday morning for a meeting with Bill Flynn, the former chairman of Mutual of America.  He will also take part in a commemoration at Calvary Cemetery in Queens to mark the 30th anniversary of the hunger strike,” she told the Irish Voice.