26/04/2007

Invest NI announces successful year

Invest NI has announced the most successful year for Northern Ireland with half a billion pounds of new investment commitments backing overseas investment projects every nine working days.

Announcing the development agency’s preliminary results for the year ending 31 March 2007, Leslie Morrison said that Invest NI’s clients had committed to invest more than £2.6 billion since 2002 and are drivers of Northern Ireland’s economic activity: “Invest NI-backed companies now account for nearly 90 per cent of Northern Ireland’s exports and 96 per cent of business investment in Research and Development.

“Our 2,200 client businesses generate twice the Northern Ireland average for new product development, 60 per cent more than the average gross value added (GVA) and each employee generates annual sales of more than £120,000.

“Over the past year, we have continued to deliver investment under particularly challenging conditions, making an average seven offers of assistance each working day, and supporting 17 new, internationally mobile investment projects.”

The report also revealed a devolved government would create greater opportunities for overseas investment.

“With a new Assembly only days away, we must utilise a new era of political accommodation to improve the profile of Northern Ireland abroad and its attractiveness for foreign direct investment," Mr Morrison said.

(JM/SP)

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