A high-level inward investment team from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia were in Derry and Strabane this week as part of a visit to Northern Ireland.
During their visit to the North West the group met with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle, and visited a number of local businesses, including E&I Engineering in Burnfoot.
They also spent some time at the North West Regional College and the Ulster University Magee campuses to see at first hand the region’s entrepreneurship and innovation and skilled workforce.
The delegation also attended a business engagement lunch with the Chamber of Commerce and met with international investors and local business representatives who are interested in doing business in the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia areas, as well as local companies such as Fleming Agri and Marblehill, who already export to the US.
The visit comes just weeks ahead of a forthcoming trade mission to Boston/Philadelphia, which will see companies from Derry, Strabane and Donegal travelling to the US along with representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, the Local Enterprise Office, North West Regional College and LYIT.
Among the representatives who visited the city this week from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia were Mr David Briel (Executive Director, Center for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mr Richard Kilner (Office of International Business Development, Center for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mrs Sylvie Gallier Howard (First Deputy Commerce Director, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia) and Mr Vaughn Ross (Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Philadelphia).
Mayor Boyle said: “They were very impressed with our offering and how well placed we are in terms of offering cost competitive business opportunities along with high level digital connectivity and a young and well educated workforce.
“They were very keen to further explore the existing trade and export relationships that exist with companies from the North West region and Philadelphia, as well as the wider State of Pennsylvania. We are starting to see the benefits of this joined up and positive approach to establishing strong economic development links and initiatives between the US and the North West region. Our relationship is very strong and there is a real eagerness to develop our relationship further.”