Belfast businesses shone on a global scale at the New York-New Belfast conference, sponsored by KPMG, which took place in New York on 29th and 30th May. Many local companies were listed in the prestigious Ireland-US Top 50 Companies listing, announced at a high-profile awards ceremony on the second day of the conference.
Included in the Top 50 were some of the biggest players in corporate Belfast including A&L Goodbody; Allstate; Almac Group; Andor Technology; Bank of Ireland; Bombardier; Citi Group; Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Concentrix; Crescent Capital; First Derivatives; New York Stock Exchange; Norbrook Laboratories; Randox; Seagate Technology; and Tennents.
Addressing over 200 delegates at the ceremony, Justice Minister David Ford said: “The mutual benefit that transatlantic operations have brought to businesses here in the US and at home in Northern Ireland is plain to see. Recent investment announcements and others, many of which will deliver jobs in areas that have long suffered from particularly high levels of unemployment, reflect a growing confidence in a new Northern Ireland. One that is emerging from its troubled past; that is learning to recognise, develop and capitalise on its many assets as a business location; and which has the potential to offer, and achieve, much more.”
Top winners of awards from these Top 50 companies were Concentrix, Tennents, Randox, HBO and Shopkeep. HBO is the renowned production company responsible for the popular TV drama, Game of Thrones, which has helped put Northern Ireland and in particular, Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, on the world map in terms of studio production.
The conference was attended by then Lord Mayor of Belfast, Máirtin Ó Muilleoir, who said: “Seeing the future of business between Belfast and the US being showcased in this way was a very fitting end to my tenure as Lord Mayor. Belfast currently has a presence of more American blue-chip companies than any city of similar size in America and I think this shows our potential as good place to do business.
“Our American hosts made this conference experience a positive one for all delegates attending. It was repeatedly highlighted that the key to a stable economic future in Belfast is US investment – be it through tourism, creation of new jobs, or new business started through direct investment.”
The purpose of the New York-New Belfast conference is to build bridges of mutual benefit between New York and Belfast. It aims to place a spotlight on the bridges of progress and prosperity being built between the citizens of the two cities.