How local stakeholders can best contribute to marketing their region as a location for inward investment is the subject of five workshops being organised this week by Invest Northern Ireland.

The workshops, the first of their kind, are being held in Ballymena, Omagh, Londonderry, Newry and Belfast as part of the Foreign Direct Investment Conference 2002. Representatives from local enterprise agencies, councils and universities will get together with staff from Invest NI’s overseas offices and its local office network to discuss the task of attracting new foreign direct investment to Northern Ireland.

Those attending the one-day workshops will hear Invest NI staff explain how investment leads are identified and cultivated and inward investment projects secured. They will then be asked to brainstorm on the suitability and attractiveness of their area to potential inward investors and ways of marketing their region.

Commenting on the work Leslie Ross, Managing Director of Invest NI’s Business International Division, said: “These workshops signal our commitment to increasing co-operation between our overseas representatives, staff in our local offices and key stakeholders in each region. The objective of the workshops is to begin to develop an “investment proposition” for each region and to clearly establish the suitability of each region for particular types of inward investment. Highlighting the skills and opportunities available in local areas is critical in the drive to attract new inward investment to these areas.

“The workshops are a proactive and constructive first step towards maximising the efforts of all those involved in selling and marketing Northern Ireland to overseas investors. A summary of the output from each workshop will be circulated to all involved and we will take on board comments and suggestions made and feed them into an action plan for marketing each region.”

The five one-day workshops are taking place in Ballymena (11 June); Omagh (11 June); Derry (12 June);Newry (12 June) and Belfast (13 June).