The primary purpose of the trip was to make initial contact with a number of key organisations and people in Boston in the area of business development and tourism.
Cork as a region has seen the highest percentage of foreign direct investment in Ireland in recent years. Cork is a thriving and ever expanding hub of economic, industrial, research and business development activities. It is now a major location for global market leaders in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, ICT, biotechnology, professional and financial services.
The delegation aims were to raise the profile of the Cork region among business and community leaders in Boston and to highlight the potential for international trade and tourism. The Cork region with a population of 519,000 across City and County makes the second largest contribution to the Irish economy and is well placed to capitalise on new opportunities.
The working relationships between government, business and education, together with a highly skilled workforce, world class education, training and research facilities combine to make Cork a great place for FDI and for indigenous job creation.
With the assistance of Ms Fionnuala Quinlan, Consul General of Ireland in Boston and the family of the late Tip O’Neill, former speaker of the House of Representatives, the group has managed to arrange meetings with Government representatives and officials, Irish American Business and Community groups and with the Boston offices of IDA and Enterprise Ireland.
Boston has strong Irish connections and the entire region of New England is well represented in visitor numbers to our shores. On Tuesday morning, the Irish American Partnership hosted a breakfast meeting in honour of the Mayor of Cork and presented him with donations totaling $7,500 for three second level schools in Mallow, County Cork. Guests at the meeting included many of the Irish American community leaders. Further meetings with these groups also took place later in the week.
The delegation also met with Mr Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development & International Trade in the administration of Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker. This meeting presented the ideal opportunity to identify and strengthen mutual business opportunities. The meeting also had the Governors Chief of Staff for Travel and Tourism in attendance.
A particular highlight of the visit was the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh and the Mayor of Cambridge, David Maher. Mayor of Cork Cllr John Paul O’Shea emphasised that “the meetings with the Governors trade officials and the Mayors of Boston and Cambridge have laid the foundation for development of a strong relationship between the two regions, with a particular focus on economic and tourism opportunities. I look forward to seeing this foster over the coming months.”
The Tip O’Neill connection with Mallow and the great work of his family afforded the delegation an opportunity to visit the O’Neill library at Boston College and the Tip O’Neill Exhibit. The delegation also met with family members and explore ways of reinforcing these connections into the future.