Cowen In Business At NY

Taoiseach Brian Cowen (pictured) arrived in New York on Monday for a trade mission focussing on Irish exports.

Mr Cowen will attend an Enterprise Ireland event in Manhattan where he is expected to announce contracts worth $150 million between US and Irish companies.

A US-Ireland Council event will be hosted later by Tourism Ireland, where the Taoiseach will brief business leaders on the Government’s strategy to tackle the economic downturn.

The news comes as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said he believed the US economy should start recovering from recession next year if there is the political will to complete the costly rescue of the shattered banking system.

This could be good news for potential investment in Ireland, and could begin to loosen the grip of the credit crunch.

He will place a particular emphasis on promotion of Irish tourism in the valuable US market.

Speaking during his visit, Mr Cowen said: "I am determined that Irish companies will be given every support to grow their businesses at home and here in the United States.

“Ireland is now the 10th largest investor in the United States, showing that overseas investment and job creation is now very much a two-way flow."

Tomorrow, Mr Cowen will meet Mr Obama at the White House and present him with the traditional bowl of shamrocks. This will be the first time St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated at the White House since both President Obama and the Taoiseach took office.

He will be joined by the First and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.

Mr Cowen also heard first hand that a $30m US-backed investment in Northern Ireland has been agreed.

The money is to be made available for potential investment by the New York state retirement fund in the North and has been set aside despite last week's return to terrorist killings.

See: Murders Fail To Halt $30m US Investment


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