The North West is the gateway to UK and EU Markets, US investors told

Pictured in Boston, the delegates from Donegal and Derry City & Strabane District Council areas
Pictured in Boston, the delegates from Donegal and Derry City & Strabane District Council areas

The North West region’s unique strategic cross border location with a foothold in both EU and the UK and its pipeline of talent was the key message shared with potential investors in both Philadelphia and Boston as part of the Ireland North West trade delegation that travelled to the US in November 2019.

A number of focused engagements with industry specialists, FDI executives and venture capitalists took place throughout the week in both cities as part of the Trade and Investment mission led jointly by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council, showcasing the compelling investment proposition that the northwest city region has to offer.

Potential investors heard how they could take advantage of the unique combination of benefits that the Northwest region has to offer including an accessible, connected and business friendly gateway region with a compelling vision for greater international impact.

Investors learned that companies and businesses are attracted by a talented and educated workforce, the value balance, the superb quality of life and the supportive business environment.  

The delegation also met with the Mayors of Philadelphia and Boston who both outlined their commitment and support for the work being done by the two Councils.

Local businesses from a range of sectors across both Council areas also participated in the mission meeting with potential clients and business partners with a view to increasing sales and expanding their businesses.  

The trade and investment mission also involved engagement with educational institutions from across the region including Donegal ETB, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University and the North West Regional College.

The trip also saw the official launch of the exciting research project with Harvard Graduate School of Design, exploring how the cross-border northwest city region could potentially be shaped in light of the economic, political and social realities of Brexit. The project was led by Assistant Professor Gareth Doherty in Harvard GSD, who is originally from Carndonagh in Donegal and is expected to be exhibited in the North West region in 2020.

The week also provided the opportunity for the Council to connect with and deepen our relationships with the Donegal Diaspora in both cities, with a specific event being hosted in Haverford High School in Philadelphia showcasing the educational offering in the region, encouraging our Diaspora to consider the North West as a place to further their studies.  There is a genuine interest with the Donegal Diaspora exploring the options open to their children to further their studies in the region whilst also benefiting from rekindling relationships with family and indeed to the county of their parents birth.  So much so that a further event which was scheduled to take place in March had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, however, the event has been rescheduled to take place in September. Full details will be shared through the Donegal Diaspora social media channels.

Reflecting on the visit, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council Seamus Neely said: “It takes time to make connections, develop relationships and build trust”.  

“The trip provides a great opportunity to showcase our talent, skills and entrepreneurship along with our ICT strengths, well established eco-system and quality of life.  There is a strong partnership between local government, education and businesses in the North West City region and this was a key selling point during the trip and I believe that our direct approach of travelling to the US, making those connections and building rapport, really works.”

The Northwest Trade & Investment mission takes places on an annual basis and is funded by The Executive Office and the Irish Government.


For more information on the trade mission visit and follow the hashtag #IrelandNW19.