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June 10, 2010

DiNapoli Releases Report on U.S. Companies in N. Ireland

Addresses Progress of U.S. Companies on Anti-Discriminatory MacBride Principles

U.S. companies in Northern Ireland employ about 27,000 employees, or about six percent of the private sector workforce there, and most have made strides to have fair representation of religious minorities in their businesses, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee of the $132.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund).

“We’ve seen a great deal of progress since the MacBride Principles legislation, but more work remains to be accomplished,” DiNapoli said. “It is important to continue efforts to promote equality for all. An inclusive, non-discriminatory economy is a stronger economy, and companies that embrace diversity embrace optimism and prosperity.”

The DiNapoli report found challenges persist regarding the geographical focus of U.S. investments in Northern Ireland, with the bulk of capital flowing to the more economically developed South Belfast area. The report also indicates that Catholic representation at U.S. companies increased last year to about 49 percent from 46 percent in the prior year.

DiNapoli produced the 203-page report to satisfy provisions of New York’s 1986 Northern Ireland Investment Law, which requires the Comptroller to make an annual determination concerning advances made by U.S. companies in eliminating ethnic or religious discrimination in Northern Ireland. The report addresses conformity with the MacBride Principles, which call for the greater inclusion of underrepresented religious groups in the workforce and banning discriminatory hiring criteria.

DiNapoli said Northern Ireland’s economy is continuing to mature. Last year, DiNapoli announced the Fund would make up to $30 million in private equity investments in Northern Ireland as part of its Emerging Europe program. The Fund is committed to ensuring that investments in the region benefit all of the people in the North of Ireland, including those in traditionally disadvantaged communities. The Fund will make such investments through its partnership with Washington, D.C.-based PCG International.

Click here for a copy of the full Northern Ireland Investment report.


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