Northern Ireland

Sir Reg Empey to meet Bill Gates in New York

Bill Gates
Image caption Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft in 2006 to focus on his charitable foundation

Employment Minister Sir Reg Empey is to meet Microsoft founder Bill Gates as part of a week-long trip to New York.

Sir Reg's itinerary this week includes a gathering of world leaders and a magazine event honouring the top 50 Irish-Americans working in finance.

He said his message would be "Northern Ireland is open for business".

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is also travelling to New York in the drive for NI investment.

He will be attending a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, meeting city comptrollers and speaking at Princeton.

Sir Reg said: "We have a world-class pool of talented people who are ready, willing and able to take on the challenges that future investment will bring," he said.


"Our task remains to win investment - this will improve our economic competitiveness and create opportunities which will leave a lasting skills legacy for our workforce."

The minister said his visit would give him "unprecedented access to some of the most powerful men and women in the US".

Sir Reg will visit the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a philanthropic institute set up by the software billionaire.

He will also attend a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, which was formed in 2005 to "bring together a carefully selected group of the world's best minds and most distinguished problem-solvers to focus on practical, effective measures".

Former US President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama are among the delegates.

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