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NI: Promotion Abroad

Oral Answers to Questions — The Executive Office – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:15 pm on 3rd October 2016.

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Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP 2:15 pm, 3rd October 2016

8. Mr Humphrey asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister what plans they have to promote Northern Ireland abroad over the next six months. (AQO 359/16-21)

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

We plan to visit China in December to meet senior national and provincial government leaders. Those strategic meetings will help us to realise our objective for China of developing trade and investment connections, encouraging tourism, attracting students and developing research partnerships.

I have just returned from a visit to the United States, where I met potential investors, international lawyers and tourism industry representatives to promote Northern Ireland. The deputy First Minister is scheduled to visit the United States in early November.

Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP

I thank the First Minister for her answer. Given the First Minister's meeting last week with the Chinese consul to Northern Ireland, has the Brexit vote and the determination of the British people across this United Kingdom had any negative effect on her discussions?

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

No, and certainly not with China. As the Member will know, we have long been working with China to develop a relationship there. If anyone knows anything about doing business in China, they will know that you have to build up a relationship with the Government at central and local level. I am pleased to see that Belfast City Council now has full sister city status with Shenyang, one of the cities that the deputy First Minister and I will visit in December, and we look forward to doing very good business out there.

Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton Speaker

That ends the period for listed questions. We now move to 15 minutes of topical questions.