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Regional Development Minister departs for Boston to address investment conference

7 October, 2009 - by Westminster

Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, departs for the US today where he is due to address the Gateways to Tomorrow Boston-North West Ireland Conference. He will also be holding talks with a wide range of government, business, academic and community leaders in Boston and the surrounding area.

Speaking ahead of his trip the Minister said: “The objectives of this visit are to help attract investment and foster new partnerships between Boston and the North-West of Ireland.”

Speaking about the Gateways to Tomorrow Boston-North West Ireland Conference the Minister said: “I am looking forward to the conference itself, to meeting the wide range of guests from across many disciplines and sectors who will be participating and to exploring the potential for such transatlantic links now and in the time ahead.”

The conference, organised by the Irish Echo newspaper, will bring together major figures from Ireland and America to focus on the investment and development potential of the North West of Ireland. It will be attended by many leading government and business figures from Boston and by representatives of the most important bodies leading regeneration and development in Derry and Donegal.

The Minister is due to address the opening conference reception, speaking on the theme ‘Unlocking Potential’. In advance of this, he said: “I want to tell the prestigious and influential audience how the Department for Regional Development is working with the Irish Government to ensure a collaborative approach to the important North West Region. I will be talking about the development of spatial planning frameworks and the substantial investment already made and planned in our roads, rail, ports and airports to help drive forward regeneration.

“Our message is loud and clear. Through intensive public investment we are building the necessary infrastructure which allows us to capitalise on our unique location as a transatlantic gateway situated on the edge of Europe. We are building towards economic recovery on this island and the North-West is facing outwards with confidence ready to do business.”

Following the conference, the Minister has also been given the honour of presenting an award at the Golden Bridges Luncheon, to the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Timothy Murray.

In a busy schedule the Minister will also be addressing a number of other prestigious groups, including meeting members of the Institute for International Urban Development in Harvard to review important work which has been carried out with the Department on regional and spatial planning.

Minister Murphy will also visit Lawrence, a city which has had to make the change from a heavily industrialised economy to a more skills and knowledge based approach.

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