June 23. 2024. 2:21

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UK PM to announce investment summit before Good Friday Agreement anniversary


The UK will host an Investment Summit for Northern Ireland in September as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ambition to bring more inward investment into Northern Ireland’s ‘thriving economy’.

The Summit will connect international investors with businesses in Northern Ireland, showcasing the “best of what Northern Ireland has to offer,” according to a press release from the prime minister’s office. The Summit will profile Northern Ireland’s “innovation and technological strengths, with a special focus on financial & professional services, life & health sciences, technology, green manufacturing and the creative services.”

Monday marks a quarter of a century since the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement was signed.

In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement ended the thirty years of conflict and allowed the divided society to choose whether they felt British, Irish or both.

The agreement and the membership of the EU eased the tension. They allowed the island to turn the border from a battlefield into a source of opportunities and cooperation, from a barrier into a gateway.

Sunak will welcome US President Biden to Belfast this week as Northern Ireland and the UK prepare to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the agreement, according to the press release.

The US supported the Good Friday Agreement process and has played a “pivotal role in boosting prosperity in Northern Ireland” over the last 25 years, and has invested £1.5 billion into its economy over the last decade and created 13,000 jobs, according to the press release.

The prime minister will use Biden’s visit and his engagements with business leaders and others in Belfast to “celebrate Northern Ireland’s successes and encourage further long-term investment.”

“Northern Ireland – like the rest of the UK – is teeming with opportunities, talent and ingenuity. The biggest thing we can do to improve people’s standard of living and secure a prosperous and thriving Northern Ireland, is economic growth. That’s something I’m relentlessly focused on delivering,” said Sunak.

(Sofia Stuart Leeson | EURACTIV.com)