Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Tuesday, 18 March 2008

US 'interested in NI investment'

Bertie Ahern and George Bush
Bertie Ahern presented President Bush with a bowl of shamrock

Assembly minister Jeffrey Donaldson has said he is confident US investors are interested in Northern Ireland, despite the turmoil in the financial markets.

Mr Donaldson met with officials from the Department of Commerce in Washington on Monday.

They discussed an investment conference to be held in Belfast in May. President George Bush said America would send a strong delegation to the conference.

"What people are looking at is long-term investment opportunities and we have a number of companies who are very keen to come and see what Northern Ireland has to offer," Mr Donaldson said.

"Obviously business has to go on, the market's still out there, and there's been a very positive response to the message we've been giving out here in Washington about the investment opportunities in Northern Ireland."

Mr Donaldson attended the annual St Patrick's Day reception at the White House with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Mr Ahern participated in a traditional shamrock ceremony with President Bush.

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