The First Minister Carwyn Jones has thanked the US Ambassador to the UK for his friendship to Wales as he made a farewell visit to Cardiff today (23 January).

Louis Susman, who is leaving his post after three years, held talks with the First Minister at his office in Cardiff Bay. He also attended a business lunch hosted by the First Minister which included representatives of US companies based in Wales.

“Our already strong relationship with the US has grown further over recent years and this is in no small part due to the work of Ambassador Susman,” said the First Minister.

“He has been a source of encouragement for Welsh businesses to explore opportunities in the US and has advocated Wales as an inward investment location for American firms.

“This visit is an opportunity to convey my personal thanks to the Ambassador for being such a good friend to Wales and to wish him every success in his future endeavours.  I can assure him of a warm Welsh welcome whenever he wishes to return to Wales.

“The USA remains a key inward investor for Wales, as demonstrated by the range of companies who welcomed the Ambassador and we will continue to work tirelessly to attract further investment.

“The United States is a significant market for Welsh goods, with figures for 2011 showing our exports to the US totalled almost £3.4 billion. The Welsh Government wants to build on this and that is why I will be leading a trade mission to San Francisco and in March I will be heading to New York.”

Wales is home to almost 300 companies from the US employing almost 52,000 people. Major players to have invested significantly in Wales include Ford, GE Aviation, GE Healthcare, General Dynamics, Raytheon, International Rectifier and Dow Corning, some of whom attended today’s event.

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