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04/07/18 Ireland NorthWest Trade Mission to Philadelphia



A successful Ireland NorthWest trade mission to Philadelphia took place recently in a bid to build on connections made during a visit to the city in November last year.


The delegation, which was jointly led by the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr. John Boyle, included the Chief Executives and senior officials from both Councils as well as five businesses from across the North West region that were keen to explore the potential business and networking opportunities for entry into this US market.


James Doherty of Donegal based Sliabh Liag Distillery Ltd. was one of the five businesses who participated and described the trade mission as extremely productive saying “the preparation beforehand paid off for my business in that the organisers got a good handle on what I needed to get out of the mission and had arranged meetings with the right representatives from the Liquor Board, other distilleries in the region and potential investors.  So for me the mission was targeted, effective and productive.”


During the three day mission, the delegation met with Select Greater Philadelphia an influential organisation that provides a range of services attracting business to the Greater Philadelphia region, Philadelphia City Council, City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, Montgomery County, NI Bureau, Chester County Economic Development Council and the Irish Immigration Centre of Greater Philadelphia. 


The delegation also met with Congressman Brendan Boyle who has strong family connections with South West Donegal and hosted a trade mission dinner attended by a range of business, political and economic stakeholders.  The delegation attended a Business Leaders breakfast hosted by Joe Callahan, Founder/Chairman of Ciright Systems Inc.. and also hosted a Diaspora Engagement Event for the members of the Derry, Donegal and Tyrone Associations in the Greater Philadelphia area.


Speaking on his return Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill said “this trade mission was about building on the links made in Philadelphia last November and about connecting with key political leaders, business people and the diaspora.  We met with a range of stakeholders and highlighted the compelling business case for Ireland NorthWest and why this region is best placed as a business and investment location for US companies expanding into the US and EU markets.”


Cllr. John Boyle said “we really believe that our ongoing positive engagement with the US is part of our long-term strategy and commitment to develop relationships and links that will help us attract investment, develop trade links that will in turn see tourism numbers increasing, jobs being created and money invested. To date we have enjoyed some success and are confident that our continued joint efforts will reap rewards for the entire region.”

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