08/01/2003

Strabane seeks to forge commerce links with Malmo

Representatives from Strabane Chamber of Commerce and Industry will travel to Sweden later this month to attend the 'Entrepreneur Gala Awards of the Year Ceremony' as special guests of the City of Malmö.

Following the awards ceremony the group will embark on a four-day study visit of the area in the hope of forming a lasting and mutually beneficial partnership with the city. Hotel and Tourism and Business Networking are top of the group's agenda for the visit.

The mission follows on from the International Business Conference which the Chamber hosted back in September in the Fir Trees Hotel.

Mr Kent Ahlcrona, Managing Director of The Malmö Enterprise Agency who attended the September event, said that this first step would be the "beginning of creating new start-ups in both regions, as well as supporting and developing existing ones".

Mr Ahlcrona got a "very positive impression" of Strabane when he visited last year and, due to the similarities between the two areas, he believed the 'viking link' could be re-established.

John Kelly, Terry Mahon, Kieran Houston, Colin McLaughlin and Donna Mahon will represent the Chamber. Dr Alan McClure, Chairman of the North West Chamber of Commerce Initiative, and board member of Invest NI will accompany the group of five.

He commended Strabane Chamber on its achievement of forming an economic partnership at a time when foreign investment into the area was minimal.

The group are currently making final preparations for the visit before they fly out at the end of the month from the City of Derry airport.

(GMcG)

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