Belfast is On the Rise
Addressing the Belfast On the Rise Business Breakfast in the Merchant Hotel in front of 150 of the city’s business leaders this morning, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said:
Sé bhur mbeatha ar maidin, a dhaoine uaisle, agus tugaim buíochas daoibh as a theacht chugainn ar maidin.
I want to start by acknowledging some guests who have joined us this morning to discuss a Belfast which is very much on the rise.
And the secret to the gains we have made is Partnership. Outstanding parnters from many different walks of life.
Senior among those is Bill Wolsey, Merchant Hotel founder.
Representing small business and retailers is John Bushell.
Ann Walsh of East Belfast Mission represents the third sector.
David Gavaghan, moving to new challenges with Aurora but is behind the success of Titanic Quarter with Citi, NISP, and Titanic Belfast.
Jack Butler of Market Resource Partners, hails from Philadelphia, and now heads a team of over 150 workers in Belfast in their tech company which is a subsidiary company of First Derivatives.
What unites them all is confidence in the future of Belfast.
And that confidence is underpinned by the transformation peace has wrought in this great city.
Belfast is the fastest-growing knowledge economy.
Belfast is home to the biggest TV production in Europe.
Belfast is home to many of world’s greatest blue-chips: Tyco, Intel, AllState, Liberty, Concentrix to name just five.
Titanic Belfast is the greatest man-made/woman-made tourist attraction in Ireland.
And the University of Ulster city centre £200m campus extension is the biggest university development in these islands.
Everyone of those groups and organisations and companies are united around a common belief in the potential of Belfast and its ability to achieve much more between now and 2020.
I know you would be disappointed if I didn’t address the election.
“I pledge, if elected as MP, to be a tireless Ambassador for Business.
“I will lead a delegation of Belfast business leaders to Boston each year to forge partnerships and attract funding to build on the $15m investment in Crescent Capital which the New York State Comptroller made last year. Using my extensive networks in Irish America, I will open doors for local businesses in boardrooms in Boston — the college capital, life sciences capital and Irish American Capital of the US. The Mayor of Boston is fully behind this initiative.
“I will also harness the power of the diaspora for Belfast by building on the success of the sister city agreement I signed last year with Boston to ensure that the groundbreaking BelPot initiative to bring four college ice hockey teams here this November is just a start. In October, I will host the Belfast Homecoming, the biggest diaspora gathering in any city in Ireland, to deliver the business and educational exchanges and connections a city on the rise needs. As a tireless ambassador for business, I will promote a narrative of Belfast which is inspiring. In late 2013, I visited the directors of AllState in Chicago and of Concentrix in Freemont, California, to urge them to bring more jobs to Belfast. Both companies, employing almost 4,000 in Belfast, have not only increased their employment locally but are now putting down roots on the Lagan riverside with major investments on the former Maysfield site.
“Finally, if elected I will revive the Business First Friday initiative which will allow me to visit businesses, organisations and enterprises which are building the Belfast economy each Friday in order to laud their achievements, ensure government is meeting their needs and urge them to continue to invest and grow.”
Our objective is to build a fair and prosperous economy which can provide jobs for our people and be a beacon of endeavor, entrepreneurship and industry.