A report published by UKTI – Inward Investment Report 2013/14 – has shown that Northern Ireland has outperformed the rest of the UK regions in attracting foreign investment.
Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive Invest Northern Ireland said: “Northern Ireland saw growth of 32 percent on the previous year in the number of FDI projects reported. When you compare this to the performance of the other regions – England (including London) 11 percent growth, Scotland 10 percent, Wales 18 percent – this is a great result and is testament to the hard work that is gone into developing our offering to investors.
“We are competing against much larger countries, and indeed regions, across Europe to attract investors, it is therefore important we continue to build on our strengths, to present a positive and supportive image to potential investors and to work together to sell Northern Ireland internationally.
“There has been some criticism in the past weeks of the failure to attract foreign investors into some of our more rural areas. While we cannot direct an investor to locate in a particular area, and I maintain that it would be wrong of us to do so, we are proactively working with the local councils to help them develop their sales messages and in turn attract investment.
“It is important to point out, however, that regardless of where an investor chooses to locate, Northern Ireland as a whole benefits. In this our size is a benefit in that the new jobs that each investment creates are available to everyone regardless of where they live due to the short travel times across the region.
“According to the UKTI report, on average, each investment in Northern Ireland is estimated to have created or safeguarded 77 jobs, this compares to an average of 63 jobs for the UK as a whole, and 44 in London.
“This, and our own figures about investment directly supported by Invest NI, should be seen as a positive and a great success for everyone. For Northern Ireland to attract investors and build on this success we must continue to work together.”