“Knowledge, skills and learning are the source of our future economic well being. We must galvanise these elements to provide Northern Ireland business with the competitive edge necessary for success,” said Ian Pearson, MP, Northern Ireland Office Minister with responsibility for the economy.

The Minister was speaking as he officially opened Invest NI’s new office in Enniskillen. The office, located in the INTEC Centre, is the first of three new offices in the pipeline which will strengthen the local delivery of Invest NI’s services to new and existing businesses.

The Minister said: “ Invest NI is seeking to maximise the potential of entrepreneurs, and businesses big and small, whether indigenous or externally owned, in every part of Northern Ireland through supporting them in capitalising on their creativity, innovation and enterprise.

“Traditionally wealth has come from control of physical assets. However, in the 21st century it will increasingly come from human capital. It is our knowledge and how we apply our thinking which is now the key to wealth creation.”

Focusing on the Fermanagh Office the Minister said: “The new office will facilitate access to the agency’s services in the Fermanagh area and will ensure that local business people can take advantage of the full range of Invest NI support.

“This new presence in Fermanagh will also underpin Invest NI’s links with local councils, enterprise agencies and other stakeholders. Together with these organisations Invest NI will continue to take a strategic approach to developing economic initiatives in the area and to seek opportunities for inward investment, which best fit the skill base of the area.”

The opening of new local offices reflects the commitment of Invest NI, as set out in its Corporate Plan, to an enhanced local presence that gives access to its full range of services.

The Fermanagh office will be staffed on a full time basis by experienced Invest NI client executives who will work as part of the network of Invest NI product specialists who make up the Agency’s client and industry sector teams.

Invest NI Chairman, Fabian Monds, commented: “Invest NI’s integrated approach to client service means that local offices will act as a portal to the full range of Invest NI activity including support for business start up, assistance towards growth, providing access to innovation and research services and resources, and working with the universities and further education colleges in this context. The new office will also have a key role to play in the development of investment propositions for the Fermanagh area with a view to attracting Foreign Direct Investment.”

The event was attended by some 100 people, among them key personnel from Invest NI, local businesses and council representatives.