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InterTradeIreland celebrates 25 years of cross-border economic collaboration as trade figures reach all-time high

13 Mar 2024

InterTradeIreland welcomed delegates to a special event in Washington DC to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Set up under Strand Two of the Good Friday Agreement, InterTradeIreland was established in 1999 and over that time has assisted more than 57,000 business across the island, generating €1.8bn/£1.6bn in business development value. 

Attendees at the networking breakfast were addressed by Minister for the Economy, Conor Murphy MLA, Irish Attorney General Rossa Fanning and the US Special Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Joe Kennedy III.   The event featured panel discussions on expanding trade and investment opportunities as well as the importance of collaboration across borders to accelerate growth, including with transatlantic partners.  

Speaking about the significance of the occasion, Economy Minister, Conor Murphy said: “InterTradeIreland play a key role in the economy. With cross-border trade now at an all-time high, it was insightful to hear from businesses that started their export journey in the cross-border market and are now selling products to the U.S.  “Events like this are important to consider how we can further build on our trade and economic links across the island, and with our partners in America, particularly in the context of the dual market access to both the EU and markets in Britain that firms based in the north of Ireland continue to enjoy.” 

Also in attendance, representing the Irish Government, Attorney General Rossa Fanning commented: “I’m delighted to be here to celebrate the 25th anniversary of InterTradeIreland. Since 1999, InterTradeIreland has delivered significant economic benefits on both sides of the border, playing a key role in creating prosperity across the island.” 

“Under the new Shared Island initiative, there will be further opportunities to boost the all-island economy and as today has shown, to grow exports and build new collaborations beyond the island.” 

Speaking at the event, Joe Kennedy III, the US Special Economic Envoy to Northern pointed to InterTradeIreland’s impressive record of supporting businesses and cross-border partnerships to maximise prosperity, trade and innovation. 

This includes InterTradeIreland’s support of the US-Ireland R&D Partnership, which brings together researchers from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the U.S. to focus on priority areas, including energy, sustainability and health. 

InterTradeIreland Chief Executive Margaret Hearty commented “The US-Ireland R&D Partnership has been very successful, with funding of $172 million raised to date. Today’s event provided guests with the opportunity to learn how options are being explored to expand its scope including the commercialisation of research.” 

“I am proud of our record of connecting partners to develop business and trade. We play a unique role in identifying opportunities for North-South collaboration that can accelerate growth in both economies, as well as connecting business across the island to trade cross-border, collaborate, innovate and attract investment. “By maximising collaboration with our partners, I am confident we can build on the progress that we’ve made and take advantage of the significant opportunities that lie ahead over the next 25 years. “

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