29/08/2008

Targets Achieved Says Invest NI

Invest NI has met or exceeded substantially all of its targets, and continues to witness high levels of interest in the 'product offerings' and its range of support programmes.

According to the 2007-08 'Invest NI Annual Report and Accounts for Invest Northern Ireland' published this week, "Invest NI continued to deliver".

Stephen Kingon, Chairman of Invest NI, said: "Invest NI continued to deliver high private-sector investment commitments to strong projects, as our clients displayed increasing ambition to achieve the scale necessary to compete effectively in global markets, despite some challenging economic conditions."

Outgoing Chief Executive of Invest NI Leslie Morrison, said: "The results presented in this report reflect not only increasing ambition on the part of our clients, but also increasing proactivity by Invest NI.
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"Overall, we have met or exceeded substantially all of our Operating Plan targets, and continue to witness high levels of interest in our product offerings and range of support programmes.

"Each £1 we offered last year to support our clients' growth ambitions, will result in £6 of planned investment and our activities have levered a total of £689 million of investment commitments by our clients.

"As has historically been so, the majority of our offers were to locally-owned small and medium-sized businesses, either existing or new starts," said the agency boss, who retires next year.

"It is clear that, in the current weakening economic cycle, there will be challenges ahead for many of our clients.

"To ensure that they are best placed to respond, we are preparing a number of actions and new initiatives, to assist our clients, particularly SMEs, to increase their competitiveness and identify new opportunities," he concluded.

(BMcC)

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