The historic city of Derry was the setting for the Avrio Advocati International Legal Conference of European and international corporate and family lawyers, where a key session on "Economic Development Leverage in Ireland and Northern Ireland Post-Brexit" shed light on the region's unique opportunities and strategies for growth.

Hosted by Philip Gilliland, Managing Partner, Caldwell & Robinson Solicitors, speakers included Stephen Kelly, CEO of Manufacturing NI; John Healy, Chair of Invest Northern Ireland; and Gerry Kindlon, a senior member of the Irish Business & Employers’ Federation.

Stephen Kelly focused on the resilience and ingenuity of the Northern Irish workforce. "People from Northern Ireland are gritty problem solvers," he emphasised. Despite global trends pushing manufacturing jobs to the East, Northern Ireland boasts nearly 100,000 individuals employed in the manufacturing sector. This significant number underscores the region's steadfast commitment to maintaining and nurturing its manufacturing base.”

John Healy elaborated on the advantages that Northern Ireland, particularly the Northwest, enjoys due to the collaborative efforts of academia, industry, and government – a synergy often referred to as the triple helix of innovation. He highlighted the potential that City and Growth Deals have as a major economic driver set to transform Northern Ireland’s economic landscape.  In particular he discussed the Personalised Medicine, and the Cognitive Analytics and Digital Robotics, innovation centres. These promise to catalyse economic growth and innovation, positioning Derry, the Northwest and Northern Ireland at the forefront of technological and medical advancement.

Gerry Kindlon discussed the post-Brexit economic landscape of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, focusing on the Windsor Framework's role in positioning Northern Ireland as a key player in international trade. He explained how the region's unique trading arrangements offer unparalleled opportunities for trade with both the rest of the UK and Europe. This strategic advantage places Northern Ireland in a favourable position to leverage new and existing trade relationships, driving economic development and growth.

The session concluded with a lively Q&A, where delegates from around Europe and the world engaged with the speakers on topics ranging from trade policies to innovation strategies. The insights shared during this session have left a lasting impression, highlighting the resilience, innovation, and strategic positioning of Northern Ireland and Derry in the post-Brexit era.

Avrio Advocati is a global network of law firms which seeks to facilitate networking and business opportunities between member law firms, including the exchange of professional know-how, and fostering legal cooperation across borders on pan-European and worldwide bases. Avrio Advocati members can deliver high quality, custom tailored legal advice across international borders to respond to the requirements of the international and global market.

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