Belfast and New York embark on economic recovery together

The New York – New Belfast Conference, a major transatlantic conference celebrating and forging links between Belfast and New York, will move online for the first time, bringing together some of the senior leadership tasked with the fight against coronavirus in both cities to look at economic recovery plans.

Belfast City Council is sponsoring the 11th annual ‘New York New Belfast’ conference which will take place virtually in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions. Usually held over three days in New York City, this year’s free to access conference will take place this Friday, 12 June with hundreds expected to log on to 

This year’s conference takes the theme of ‘The Rebuilding Journey’, focusing on how the two cities can recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and learn from their unique experiences in combatting the disease and its implications for citizens.   Belfast Lord Mayor, Alderman Frank McCoubrey, who will be addressing delegates said: “The New York New Belfast Rebuilding Journey conference will provide an important opportunity to strengthen the social and economic connections between Belfast and New York at this challenging time. As our cities work to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s vital that we share our approaches, plans and insights to support one another.“We continue to pitch Belfast globally as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.  Our economy has grown significantly in the last five years – we’ve seen a host of global corporations set up and expand here – and we’ve become a hub for Fintech and cyber security. The ambitions we’ve set out in our 20 year community plan, The Belfast Agenda are now more important than ever in the context of Covid-19 recovery.  
“Together with our city partners, we’re focused on creating new and better jobs in Belfast, attracting inward investment, investment in neighbourhoods and skills and contributing to a greener, more environmentally friendly economy.   And our £1bn Belfast Region City Deal with its focus on innovation and digital investment will be a key tool in our recovery and securing global competitive advantage. With collaboration, energy and determination, our cities can rebuild together to come back stronger than before.”
Bringing together politicians, as well as business, tech, and cultural leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, the conference is an opportunity to exchange ideas and plans for the recovery of societies post-coronavirus.Belfast will also have the chance to outline its plans to create world leading smart innovation districts with business clusters in growth sectors such as tech and health diagnostics and analytics through the city’s first Digital Innovation Partnership and with investment from the Belfast Region City Deal.
Confirmed speakers at the virtual ‘New York – New Belfast’ Conference include:• Alison Metcalfe, Executive VP, USA & Canada, Tourism Ireland• Bill Mulrow, Co-Chair New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board• Conor Murphy MLA, NI Executive Finance Minister• Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), 25th District, New York City Council, and Chair Finance Committee• Diane Dodds, Economy Minister NI Executive• Jayne Brady, Belfast Digital Commissioner• Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey• Michael J Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health, New York• Suzanne Wylie, Belfast City Council Chief Executive

• Tom DiNapoli, Comptroller, New York StateRegistration for the conference is free but attendees are encouraged to donate to the conference’s COVID-19 appeals raising funds for healthcare workers: the Robin Hood Appeal in Belfast and Meitheal in New York. To register and for full programme information, visit

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