First Minister Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are pictured with Shaun Kelly, Global Chief Operating Officer for KPMG International at their offices in Park Avenue, New York during their investment mission to the United States of America. Also pictured is Invest NI CEO Alastair Hamilton.
First Minister, Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness have started their US visit programme by launching Corporation Tax to an audience of senior executives in New York.
The Ministers’ programme began in New York with a business breakfast attended by senior business leaders, hosted by KPMG, and a salon lunch attended by potential and existing investors and members of the Northern Ireland diaspora.
Speaking from the events, First Minister Arlene Foster said: “A reduced rate of Corporation Tax will significantly add to the attractiveness of Northern Ireland as an investment location for existing and potential new investors, as well as bring benefits to our local business base.
“No region in Western Europe will have a lower rate of Corporation Tax. Coupled with government support for job creation, training and R&D, Northern Ireland will be one of the most attractive propositions in Western Europe.
“We have a long and proud history of innovation excellence and a strong manufacturing heritage and pro-business economy which is contributing to a new vibrancy across Northern Ireland.
“Over the last five years, Invest NI has helped to grow US investment in Northern Ireland by 233%. We want to continue that growth and I hope that the companies we are meeting with today will be part of that.”
The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “The combination of tax, talent and value will make the north of Ireland an even stronger contender when pitching for new investment.
“The benefit of a reduced tax rate will also mean we are able to bid for projects with companies that previously would not have considered us.
“Over a 10-year period, and from a zero start, we have become the number one region in the world for financial services technology investments, and number one in Europe for new software development projects.
“The US remains our largest source of foreign investors, with nearly 180 companies employing over 24,000 people here. We plan to build on this and convince more US companies the north of Ireland is the place to grow their business in Europe.”
Invest NI have launched a new advertising campaign, created to raise awareness of Northern Ireland as an investment location. The new advertisement was shown at both events.
The campaign has been backed by Hollywood star and Ballymena born actor Liam Neeson: He said: “As a native of Ballymena, I’m backing the drive for jobs and investment in my home town. I firmly believe that the commitment of the Northern Ireland Executive to reduce the rate of Corporation Tax to 12.5% from April 2018 really is a potential game-changer for our economy.
“It has the potential to help create thousands of new jobs and make Northern Ireland the most attractive investment location in Western Europe. Jobs which are seriously needed and which will help revitalise towns like Ballymena by encouraging investment in both the manufacturing and service sectors.