NIO Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Ian Pearson, MP, today acknowledged the contribution of Invest NI to the Northern Ireland economy on the second anniversary of the Agency's establishment.
Mr Pearson said: “Invest NI is working well in a fiercely competitive, ever-changing international marketplace and I congratulate them on securing a total investment in the local economy of some £1billion and providing assistance to almost 5,000 new business start ups over the last two years.
“The benefits of reforming the approach to economic development with the creation of Invest NI are starting to be seen. As a one-stop-shop, the Agency offers a broader range of services than any other development agency in the UK.
“Invest NI’s operational activities have continued at a high level across all its programmes and services. Over the last year it has expanded its activities into new areas of operation including investment in innovation infrastructure; e-business/broadband; air access and the social economy.
“However, the Agency is aware that challenges remain, including those around globalisation and competitiveness. There are also internal challenges around the continued quest for further efficiencies and I am confident the move to a single headquarters location will be of assistance with this.”
The Minister concluded: “In order to more fully understand the competitive position of the Northern Ireland economy, I recently asked the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland to carry out detailed research. This work will benchmark the performance of the Northern Ireland economy against other regions; examine the competitiveness of key sectors and update and extend work on the cost of doing business. This information will be vital in monitoring progress and identifying areas for continued improvement.”