Northern Ireland companies urged to focus on US business

Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has urged local companies to continue to pursue export opportunities in North America through activities such as trade missions, strategic alliances and other forms of co-operation, following the announcement of a new US marketing initiative in Lisburn.

The US Consul General, Barbara Stephenson, was a keynote speaker at the 'Doing Business in the USA' seminar, which aimed to provide Northern Ireland companies with practical advice about the financial, accounting and legal issues they face in the US, and about the support that is available to them from Trade International Northern Ireland.

Delegates were briefed about opportunities to develop business in the US through strategic alliances, using the Northern Ireland International Partnership Programme and by means of the planned Northern Ireland Trade and Technology Development Centre in Boston, which will be opening shortly.

Over 50 senior executives from 30 companies took part in the seminar held at the Island Conference Centre in Lisburn. In addition, Ed Rieu, Senior Consultant at Ernst and Young's US tax desk in London detailed accounting and tax requirements for companies wishing to develop business in the US.

Representatives from the US Department of Commerce, the US Consulate General in Belfast and Massport, the agency responsible for promoting Boston as a trade centre, also provided guidance to local companies. (MB)

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