Pennsylvania business team visit

Sinn Fein Councillor Mickey Cooper.

Sinn Fein Councillor Mickey Cooper.

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A delegation from the Pennsylvania State Government’s Office of International Business Development is expected to address Derry & Strabane councillors this afternoon about strengthening economic ties.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the local economy, Colr. Mickey Cooper, said the visit was the culmination of a long term engagement involving himself, former Finance Minister Mairtin O’Muilleoir and Derry and Strabane Council.

He said: “I am delighted that representatives from the Pennsylvania State Government have agreed to make a presentation to the Business & Culture Committee to outline opportunities that exist for further trade and investment links to be developed between the two areas.

“Pennsylvania is already a key export location for Irish firms in product areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical and surgical instruments, cosmetics, industrial machinery and IT equipment with total exports of over $1.5 billion dollars going from Ireland to Pennsylvania in 2015.”

He added: “As our council area continues to diversify its product and services base, it is vital that we as a local council make further connections with Pennsylvania and other cities on the eastern seaboard to maximise opportunities for export, and also to allow Irish companies to reciprocate trading opportunities for US companies seeking to forge alliances here.

“I am, therefore, delighted that Pennsylvania State representatives have agreed to come to our city and district to see all that it has to offer. This presentation will, hopefully, be the start of this relationship and lead to further job creation and economic benefit for both Derry/ Strabane and Pennsylvania.”