[Sinn Fein]

12 December 2000

US Special Economic Advisor to Belfast to meet Enterprise Trade & Investment Committee

Sinn Fein Vice President, West Tyrone MLA and Chairperson of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee has welcomed the news that John J. Cullinane, the US Special Economic Advisor to Belfast is to meet with his committee today.

Mr Doherty said:

``Mr Cullinane has been an ally to economic development in Ireland and Belfast in particular. In 1997 he was named Special Economic Advisor for Belfast in North America and went on to create the Friends of Belfast in North America.

``The wealth of experience that Mr Cullinane can bring to the Assembly committee will enable us to more fully understand what we need to do facilitate inward investment what barriers exist and what people from outside Ireland see as the benefits of investing time, energy, expertise and of course money.

``The creation of jobs and economic development are central to the peace process here in Ireland. We now need to look at developing the mechanisms to ensure that we put in place new patterns of economic development.

``The institutionalised and systematic discrimination and deliberate under development of areas West of Bann over the past 80 years are the hallmarks of Unionist and British policy makers. We need to consign such failed policy making to the rubbish bin.''

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