Organisers of the annual New York-New Belfast conference luncheon, earmarked for the storied NY Athletic Club on 22 June, say they will build on the groundbreaking President Biden April visit to Ireland, north and south.
And the high-powered civic delegation heading from Belfast for the 22 June gathering will also be aiming to maintain the momentum from the ten-day fact-finding mission to the North of Ireland by US Economic Envoy Joseph Kennedy III the same month.
Thanks to all who joined yesterday’s conference and helped rejuvenate New York’s special relationship with Belfast and Northern Ireland. I look forward to strengthening our partnership in the years to come. #NYNB2022 pic.twitter.com/I0Tyky6TiK— Tom DiNapoli (@NYSComptroller) June 24, 2022
"The stage has been set fair for the most important collaboration yet between two cities which are, despite myriad challenges, very much on the rise," said luncheon host and former Lord Mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
"We know that the Big Apple is still not fully back on its feet since the ravages of Covid but it continues to push forward. Likewise, Belfast is being held back by the absence of a functioning government at Stormont but after the game-changing local elections last week it's now a case of 'when', not 'if', the DUP will end their boycott of the Assembly. Bottom line: as we have demonstrated from the very New York-New Belfast conference in 2010, both cities are absolutely unstoppable."
Excellent speeches & panels at dynamic & positive #NYNB2022 @IrishEcho conference, many noting positive benefits for business & investment of NI Protocol incl @NYSComptroller who has a long history of support for peace & prosperity on the island of Ireland🙏🤝 well done to all👏 pic.twitter.com/yRIQvU680T— Helena Nolan (@helenajuly) June 23, 2022
Leading the Belfast delegation to New York will be the incoming First Citizen - whose identify will be confirmed at the Council agm on Monday 5 June - alongside the Belfast City Council Chief Executive John Walsh, Belfast Innovation District Director Clare Guinness, Belfast Harbour CEO Joe O'Neill, and Lagan Specialist Contractors' CEO Kevin Anthony Lagan - the family-owned building company recently secured a $90m runway rehabilitation contract from Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington D.C.
The luncheon-format event will also feature a panel highlighting the investment opportunities in Northern Ireland post-the Windsor Framework Agreement which allows for frictionless trade from the North to Britain and the EU — an advantage unique to the region. Andrea Haughian, Head of Invest Northern Ireland in the Americas will lead a discussion on the economic opportunities in the North alongside Ashleen Feeney of KMPG, lead sponsors of the conference.
This week, Belfast was showcased at the 'Crossroads of the World', Times Square. @ICBelfast and @belfastcc embarked upon a comprehensive programme of business meetings and events across NYC, culminating with #NYNB2022. A city with huge ambition and unlimited potential. pic.twitter.com/tgWcJerNeA— Andrea Haughian (@Andrea_Haughian) June 24, 2022
While New York media consultant Maura Kelly will moderate a tourism discussion with Alison Metcalfe, Head of Tourism Ireland in the US, and America-born Andrea Kieran who has just opened the latest accommodation sensation in Belfast, The Regency.
Keynoting the luncheon will be Brian Ruane, Executive Committee Member at BNY Mellon and one of New York's most respected Irish American leaders.
Full details of the conference programme as well as information on tickets are available on the web.