Trade and Investment Anchor Stability in Northern Ireland

Posted by Declan Kelly
October 21, 2010
Secretary Clinton With Northern Ireland First Minister Robinson and deputy First Minister McGuiness

About the Author: Declan Kelly serves as U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland.

Secretary Clinton hosted the U.S.-Northern Ireland Economic Conference Tuesday at the State Department, and, with an estimated $1 trillion of market capitalization in the room, we made the case for underpinning the peace process in Northern Ireland through ongoing trade and investment.

We had high-level executives from several U.S. companies, some already invested in Northern Ireland and others looking at the potential of new ventures there, discussing the advantages that Northern Ireland offers companies with an eye towards Europe. This conference was about more than just the positive impact investment would have on Northern Ireland, but also about how exports follow investment, and how these initiatives are good for the people of both Northern Ireland and the United States.

As the Secretary made clear in her remarks, peace in Northern Ireland is a bedrock foreign policy priority for the United States. The conference this week was another indication of her commitment to the people of Northern Ireland. My role, as the Economic Envoy at the State Department, is to support the goal of peace by working with our government counterparts to increase economic opportunity in the region, where the status quo has shifted from violence and fear to security and stability. Dissident violence still exists, but is not a deterrent. Prosperity goes hand-in-hand with peace and progress, and the very small few who are stuck in the past cannot stand in the way and will not be allowed to do so.



October 22, 2010

Martin in Ireland writes:


The significance of the event this week cannot and should not ever be underestimated. Secretary Clinton's comment mark a clear realisation that peace in Northern Ireland is a process.

Apart from any rhetorical acknowledgement, the conference this week shows an awareness that peace needs to be maintained. In terms of the dissident threat, it remains imperative to nullify the economic base that they thrive upon. This equates to opportunity and incentive. The economic pursuits of a counter terrorism strategy has long been underestimated.


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