Robinson hails new inward investment initiative

The First Minister, Rt Hon Peter D. Robinson MLA, has given a ringing endorsement to a new guide to investing in Northern Ireland launched today by Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI).

Entitled ‘Investing in Northern Ireland’ the 24 page full colour brochure will be used by CAI in its dealings with major overseas companies in a bid to persuade more firms to come to Northern Ireland to take advantage of its position as the ‘gateway to Europe’.

Speaking today at the launch of the brochure in Belfast the First Minister described the move as ‘a very timely and important outreach initiative’. Mr Robinson said that it is offering the right support to the Executive as it scans international markets through its executive agency Invest NI in the search for new business: “Politicians can provide leadership and help to create a more peaceful Northern Ireland, but ultimately it will be down to business to generate the wealth to deliver the prosperity we all want to see.

“Despite the world economic downturn Northern Ireland has an unprecedented opportunity, for the first time in generations, to make its mark on the world stage. The Executive is absolutely committed to doing all that it can through Invest NI to attract the Foreign Direct Investment that will help build our economy.

The First Minister continued: “Various commentators have speculated on the exact benefit of a reduced level of Corporation Tax in the context of job creation. Recent research by Foreign Direct Intelligence has calculated that each one percentage point reduction would increase job creation by between 4.8% and 9.7%, meaning that some 58,000 new jobs could be created if we were to be able to reduce the level of Corporation Tax to, say, 12.5%.

“It is important to note that this 58,000 figure would not just comprise direct jobs resulting from new projects. A substantial number would be either indirect, or induced jobs, either resulting from new employment opportunities created in supporting new investors, or in their supply chains, or through the additional spending power which direct employees would bring to the local economy. This would further contribute to the rebalancing and rebuilding of our economy.

“This projected figure is similar to the present number of unemployed in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Robinson said that while US investment has been a major boost to Northern Ireland regeneration, the onus was now on the Executive to explore the new markets of the Middle and Far East in partnership with the private sector, adding: “CAI’s well thought-out and presented guide to investing in Northern Ireland is a very timely and very important outreach initiative. It offers the support this administration needs as it works to attract high quality investment and it represents the kind of energy and teamwork we’re looking for between the public and private sectors here.

“The message being sent out today to the people of Northern Ireland is that ‘we’re working together and we’re working for you’.