First Minister Rt Hon Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA have told an audience of US business and political leaders that the creative industries in Northern Ireland are truly world class.
Speaking at the annual business breakfast hosted by the Northern Ireland Bureau to mark St Patrick's Day the Ministers described the local growth of the local creative industries sector as truly remarkable.
First Minister Peter D. Robinson said: "Northern Ireland has over the course of recent years developed a creative industries sector that is attracting significant global attention. In recent years productions by HBO and Universal have created hundreds of jobs and generated millions for the economy. Productions funded by NI Screen have generated a return of some £45million in the last three years alone.
"The creative industries are leading the way creating jobs and helping to rebalance and grow our economy. By encouraging creativity, we will fuel the emergence of creative ideas, creative people and creative enterprises. We will create a culturally rich society that will encourage people to live, work and invest in Northern Ireland."
Mr McGuinness said: "Ireland is renowned for its culture, its creativity and art. Every corner of the island is alive with enterprise, art and creative thinking -creative thinking to deliver political progress, creative thinking to breakdown community barriers and tackle inequality and creative thinking to promote economic growth for the benefit of all.
"Today's theme is creative industries and some 4.6% of our workforce, over 36,000 people, are employed in these sectors and are playing an ever increasing role in our efforts to rebalance the economy."