‘Positive Thinking' conference set to kick off in Madrid

Pictured ahead of the Madrid conference are Richard Gillan, chairman, Chartered Accountants Ulster Society; Zara Duffy, head of Chartered Accountants Northern Ireland; and Shaun McAnee of Danske Bank

MORE than 150 of Northern Ireland's leading chartered accountants will fly to Madrid this week for a conference examining the future of UK and EU trading relations.

The 'Positive Thinking: Leadership for a New Reality' conference in the Spanish capital, organised by Chartered Accountants Ulster Society and supported by Danske Bank, will take place from May 2-5.

It will consider the prospect of business development between Northern Ireland and the EU and will feature speakers from companies which successfully trade in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

Speakers will include Danish economist Lars Christensen, editor-in-chief of Euroinvestor; Tom McIlduff of Liberty Seguros; Peter McKenzie of Anticipa Real Estate; John Scade of MAS Business; David Radley-Searle of Grant Thornton Madrid; Emma Naismith, manager of Invest NI's recently established office in Madrid; and Oonagh Murtagh of Danske Bank.

The conference - part of which will take place in the world famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium, home of Real Madrid - will discuss possible Brexit scenarios and examine what business leaders can do during this extended negotiation period to ensure that local businesses are in a position to thrive.

Richard Gillan, chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, said: “We're delighted to be bringing a sell-out audience of business leaders to Madrid for what will be a fascinating Conference and an important networking opportunity for our members.

“Over the last couple of years Brexit has dominated both the political and the business agenda. It's fair to say a great deal of the debate has been negative. Now it's time to have some positive thinking, showing what leaders can do to help business continue to thrive in a new trading reality.

“We have an opportunity to hear first-hand about the current climate for business and investment in the EU. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, trading links with the EU will continue to be important and it's up to business leaders to continue to find ways to reach out positively to do business in Europe..”

Shaun McAnee, managing director of corporate and business banking at Danske Bank, said: “We have had a long association with Chartered Accountants Ulster Society and are very proud of this ongoing relationship. Our teams across the bank continue to work closely with the accounting profession and recognise the pivotal role it plays in the development of the Northern Ireland economy.

“We look forward to gaining fresh insights and inspiration from the conference that will benefit our customers, in particular those who are already trading with the EU or would like to do so in the new, post-Brexit environment.”

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