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Pictured at the signing, which took place at Vertigo in County Hall, were: Tim Lucey, CEO, Cork Co. Co.; Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy, Mayor of the County of Cork and Denise Garland, Commissioner, Maine DECD. Pic: Brian Lougheed More

Cork County Council continues to cultivate economic development opportunities for Cork in the United States.

On the 11th of September, Cork County Council signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with the State of Maine in the United States.  Covering the pillars of Business, Academia and Tourism, the agreement seeks to build on the strengths of both regions across a variety of industries and sectors.

Since an initial introduction to State Authorities in February this year, the two regions have been exploring ways in which their territories can benefit from collaborating.  Cultural links between Maine and Ireland are strong, with 18% of the State’s population tracing their ancestry to Ireland.    

Speaking at the signing, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy said “This is an agreement that we believe can achieve tangible benefits for both Maine and Cork.  The areas in which we share common interests are significant and we know that working together we can achieve benefits for both our economies.”

Earlier this year, a similar partnership agreement was signed between the City of Quincy and Cork County Council and this has already borne fruit such as the commencement of academic scholarships and availability of host desks for start-ups businesses looking to explore opportunities on each side of the Atlantic.

“We are delighted to welcome Denise Garland, Commissioner of the Maine Department for Economic and Community Development representing the Governor Paul LePage and her colleagues from the Maine International Trade Centre” said Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, who added, “This agreement is just the start of our exploration of areas of common interest to us both such as marine renewables, fishing, the blue economy, marine technology but also tourism and the food and drink sectors”.

The partnership signing was made at the start of a packed itinerary that includes visits by the Maine delegation to Cork Institute of Technology, the MaREI centre and National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy and the Skibbereen Heritage Centre as well as participation in the Taste of West Cork Food Festival.