Category: Archive

Pittsburgh group planning trade mission to Ireland

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Ronnie L. Bryant, said the number of Irish-linked businesses in Pennsylvania nowadays means that there are already strong ties.
“We’re very excited to strengthen Southwestern Pennsylvania’s business relationship with Ireland and capitalize on this prime development opportunity,” Bryant said this week. “Based on the current number of Ireland-based companies in the Pittsburgh region, we recognize that there is great potential for bilateral investment.”
One example is All-Clad Metalcrafters LLC, an Ireland-based company now headquartered in Pennsylvania’s Washington County.
“The PRA and our partners will work together to introduce Southwestern Pennsylvania as a possible entry point into the North American market, and connect businesses from the Pittsburgh region with potential partners in the Dublin and Belfast regions,” Bryant said.
In addition to meetings and networking opportunities with leading business and political decision-makers, the investment mission will connect participants with Invest Northern Ireland, the Dundalk Institute of Technology, the Newry and Mourne District Council and Enterprise Ireland, all organizations that play important roles in the international business development activities of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Bryant’s role in the mission to Ireland is a significant one, given his standing in the Pittsburgh business and wider community. And he also sees Ireland as a region of comparable size and development to the state of Pennsylvania, a comparison that allows for healthy links to have tea.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named Bryant, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, one of that city’s Top 50 Business Leaders. The rankings, in which Bryant placed 25th, are based on leadership and community involvement.
Bryant moved to Pittsburgh in May 2001 as the new head of one of that region’s most prominent economic development agencies, becoming one of the first African-Americans in the country ever to hold such a post in a large U.S. city. Before going to Pittsburgh, he was senior vice president of economic development of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, an agency similar to the PRA in a region with a profile strikingly similar to Pittsburgh’s.
He led a job creation campaign there that resulted in 117,000 new jobs between 1995 and the end of 2000. His top priorities as PRA president are marketing the Pittsburgh region, pushing for more construction-ready sites with transportation infrastructure and working for more collaboration among competing regional interests.
The Pittsburgh region is home to 324 foreign-owned establishments, representing 26 countries. More than 130,000 jobs in the region are directly related to international investment.
The leading investors in Southwestern Pennsylvania are Germany (88 establishments), the United Kingdom (63 establishments), Canada (37 establishments), Japan (33 establishments) and France (23 establishments).
The PRA maintains bilateral alliances with several regions in Europe, including the Rhone Alps region in France; Dortmund, Germany; and London, Manchester, and South Yorkshire in the United Kingdom.

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