By Ray O’Hanlon
President Bush is being invited to attend the upcoming U.S.-Ireland Business Summit in Washington D.C. in early September.
The summit, a gathering of business, academic and political leaders, is aimed at boosting investment and the peace process in Northern Ireland.
It will take place from Wednesday to Friday, Sept. 4-6.
Vice President Dick Cheney is also being invited to attend.
Susan Davis, who is chairing the summit, said that the gathering would be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The summit, she said, would examine economic opportunities and strategic business alliances between the U.S., Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
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The event is being jointly supported by the Bush administration, the Irish government and the devolved government in the North.
According to Davis, participation in the summit will be limited and by invitation only. But the event is still expected to attract 400 industry leaders, university presidents and senior government officials.
In addition to the president and vice president, several cabinet secretaries, including Secretary of State Colin Powell and Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, are being invited. Other leading administration figures on the invitation list include Dr. Richard Haass, the Bush administration’s point man in the North peace process, and homeland security supremo Tom Ridge.
Summit sessions will pay particular attention to areas such as
communication technology, biotechnology and the financial services industry.
The summit is a follow-up to the three-day U.S.-Ireland trade conference held in Washington D.C. seven years ago and attended by then president Clinton.