Minister announces new NI investment ambassador

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Hanif Lalani OBE is to act as an investment ambassador for Northern Ireland.

Mr Lalani, a former Chief Executive of BT Global Services, has volunteered his time to support Invest Northern Ireland’s inward investment activities with a focus on key strategic areas, including London and India.

Arlene Foster said: "Mr Lalani possesses a wealth of expertise in the IT, telecoms and business process outsourcing sectors. This will complement Invest Northern Ireland’s in-market activities which are focused on securing new inward investment and helping local companies exploit trade links in valuable markets, such as India.

"By providing strategic input to Invest NI’s sector sales and marketing strategy, and working with the organisation’s investment teams in London and India, Mr Lalani will assist in refining and further enhancing the competitiveness of the Northern Ireland proposition.

"India in particular, continues to be a strong source of investment, with L&T Infotech recently confirming it is to establish a presence here along with other global names including Polaris and Firstsource. With Belfast revealed earlier this year as the second most popular location in Europe for international investment after London, it is critical that we build upon this success and bring similar high quality projects to Northern Ireland."

Mr Lalani added: "My time as Head of BT Northern Ireland was one of the highlights of my professional career. I experienced first hand the strong skills base, positive work ethic and knowledge infrastructure that continue to attract investment from around the world. In volunteering to support Invest NI’s trade and investment objectives, I hope I can help this region to secure new investment and growth opportunities."

Mr Lalani will travel to India in September with Invest NI Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton, where they will work to further strengthen relationships with existing and potential investors as well as support trade activities.