InterTradeIreland welcomed US Special Economic Envoy Joe Kennedy III and US Consul General Paul Narain to its office in Newry on Wednesday. The delegation, which was accompanied by Jayne Brady, Head of the Civil Service in Northern Ireland, met with representatives from InterTradeIreland’s senior leadership team and Board.
Speaking about the significance of the occasion, Martin Robinson, InterTradeIreland’s Director of Strategy commented, “Joe Kennedy III is a fantastic champion for business growth and is dedicated to advancing the economy in Northern Ireland. We were delighted to welcome him today to demonstrate how InterTradeIreland’s work in building cross-border collaboration and assisting firms to export and innovate is increasing prosperity across the island.”
“Cross-border trade is at an all-time high, with our research showing that trade across the island can be a significant first step for SMEs on their export journey. Mr Kennedy was keen to hear about the work we do supporting businesses on the island, and how in his role as US Special Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland he can help accelerate growth.”
During his visit Mr Kennedy, had the opportunity to speak with members of staff from InterTradeIreland and to learn more about the organisation’s ability to facilitate and support business eco-systems and networks across the island, in particular via the InterTradeIreland Funding for Growth programme and also the US-Ireland Research & Development Partnership.
Richard Kennedy, Chair of InterTradeIreland commented, “The US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership brings together academics from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US to focus on priority areas including telecommunications, energy and sustainability and health. The Partnership has been very successful, with funding of £120M raised. Mr Kennedy was eager to learn how options are being explored to expand its scope to include commercialisation of research.
The discussion also considered how we can increase access to US equity for SMEs across the island and build on our trade and economic links.”
InterTradeIreland was established under strand two of the Good Friday Agreement to grow cross-border trade and identify opportunities for economic co-operation between both parts of the island. The organisation supports businesses to grow their export potential, collaborate on cross-border innovation opportunities to increase their competitiveness, and access funding to accelerate growth.