Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

NI leaders in talks about movies

Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson
The ministers met company managers before leaving for the US

Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers are spending their first full day in the United States.

They are due to meet representatives of the film industry in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness attended a reception in the city involving figures from business and politics in California.

The two men have been promoting Northern Ireland's software capability to senior figures from Californian technology companies.

Leading Irish-American Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists will travel to Belfast in October for the Irish Technology Leadership Group's annual conference, it was announced.

Mr Robinson said: "As an Executive, we will continue to encourage decision-makers to be aware of the opportunities that Northern Ireland offers to improve their existing operations and innovate - we remain optimistic."

Mr McGuinness said: "We are proud to present the very positive story of our software sector to them and to explore the potential for strategic relationships to be developed between Silicon Valley and Northern Ireland."

The ministers will be in Washington for the annual St Patrick's Day festivities. President Barack Obama is to host a reception at the White House.

Their week-long visit was twice delayed after the murders of two soldiers in Antrim and a police officer in Craigavon.

However, Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness pledged not to be deterred by dissident republicans in their bid to promote peace and prosperity.



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