TAKING A BITE: John Walsh, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council; Joe O’Neill, CEO of Belfast Harbour; Clare Guinness, Innovation District Director at Belfast City Council and Ashleen Feeney, Markets Partner at KPMG

Transatlantic leaders to unite at 14th annual New York–New Belfast conference

CIVIC champions from both sides of the Atlantic will unite this month to build bridges of trade and commerce between New York and Belfast.

The focus of this year’s New York–New Belfast business luncheon, which takes place at the prestigious New York Athletic Club on Thursday 22 June, is sharing Belfast’s compelling innovation-led proposition with US investors and partners.

Since 2010, New York–New Belfast has succeeded in strengthening links between leaders from the two cities with the shared goal of forging greater community, cultural, and commercial ties. The transatlantic partnership has recently been boosted by both US President Joe Biden’s visit to Belfast and the appointment of the US Special Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Joseph Kennedy III.

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With the support of headline sponsor KPMG, delegates will explore opportunities to build on the success of the Good Friday Agreement in this the 25th anniversary year, and explore paths to a bright future for Belfast. 

Speakers include:

Brian Ruane, Executive Committee Member, BNY Mellon.
Ashleen Feeney, Markets Partner, KPMG in Northern Ireland. 
Michael J. Fitzpatrick, New York Assemblyman, 8th Assembly District.
John Walsh, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council. 
Clare Guinness, Innovation District Director, Belfast City Council. 
Joe O’Neill, CEO, Belfast Harbour. 
Alison Metcalfe, Head of North America & Australia, Tourism Ireland. 

New York–New Belfast 2023 is delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, the Northern Ireland Bureau, Glens of Antrim Distillery and Tourism Ireland, and is also sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, Lagan Specialist Contracting, Mastercard, the Irish American Partnership and The Regency Belfast.  

John Walsh, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council said: “New York–New Belfast 2023 presents an ideal opportunity to deepen the social and economic connections between our two great cities. Our ambition to achieve Net Zero in Belfast is a top priority, and as the home of pioneering net zero technologies, world-class research centres, an abundance of green energy sources – not to mention our talented people, we’re looking forward to showcasing the many related investment opportunities in Belfast to our US counterparts next month.” 

Johnny Hanna, Partner in Charge of KPMG in Northern Ireland, said: “From advanced manufacturing to cyber security, fintech to aerospace, Belfast businesses forge a path at the cutting edge of innovation. It is that endeavour which has created an environment which is home to world-class indigenous companies and some of the best inward investors, as well as a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Those foundations are bolstered by the dual market access offered by the Windsor Framework which gives the region a unique offering, by the potential to reduce corporation tax and by the goodwill which has been shown to Northern Ireland from the US in the wake of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. As a local business with a global reach, KPMG will be focusing on unleashing that potential investment at New York–New Belfast and look forward to forging new links and renewing old ones at this year’s conference luncheon in New York.”