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    Taoiseach visits US: focus on economy, community

    By Noreen Bowden | July 15, 2008

    Brian Cowan is making his first visit to the US since becoming Taoiseach in May. The focus of this three-day visit will be heavily economic; he will visit the New York Stock Exchange and address a Wall Street dinner, as well as meeting with the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. He will meet with Irish and American business executives at a business sponsored by Enterprise Ireland. Mr Cowan will also meet with New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. The Taoiseach said, “I will be bringing a clear message that Ireland is now a successful European country, with a coherent strategy to maintain that success and build for the future.?

    Politics will also be on the agenda, as Mr Cowan meets with the chair of the Friends of Irleand in the US Congress, Richie Neal, as well as New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and New Jersey Governer Jon Corzine. “I look forward to meeting our many friends in the United States and listening to their advice on how we can continue to work together during a turbulent period for the global economy,”

    Mr Cowan will also meet with the Irish community in New York. He will address the Wall Street 50 Dinner, a major annual event honouring Irish-American business leaders. He will also open an exhibition at the Irish Arts Centre, and attend a reception for the Gate and Abbey theatres, which are staging productions in the city. Mr Cowan said, “I am also delighted to be meeting with representatives of the Irish community in America, who have been and remain a key part of Ireland’s international success story and of our nation.”

    The Irish Times quoted a spokesman for the Taoiseach who said, “He is glad to get the opportunity to meet with the Irish diaspora and the business community there, renewing the links which are so important on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in the current economic climate when Irish businesses are creating a similar number of jobs in the US as American companies are creating in Ireland.”

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