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Economy Minister Diane Dodds today welcomed the news that over 2,300 jobs had been created through foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland in 2019-20 – an increase of 59% on the year before.

The Minister added that overseas investment is an important factor in helping our economy bounce back from the economic shock of Covid-19.

According to figures from the Department for International Trade (DIT) released today (July 10), there were 40 new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects into Northern Ireland that created 2,351 new jobs in 2019-20. This is an increase from 28 projects and 1,251 jobs in 2017-18 and 35 projects and 1,475 jobs in 2018-19.

The Minister said: “Northern Ireland has an excellent reputation for its highly skilled workforce in areas such as cyber-security and fintech and it has been attracting the attention of companies across the world. The quality and availability of our talent, along with our capacity to offer competitive operating costs, is vital in bringing inward investment and the significant economic and social benefits that go with it.

“Invest Northern Ireland has been showcasing everything that Northern Ireland has to offer and to date over 1,000 international companies have recognised the opportunities offered and have invested here. We are punching above our weight on a global scale and it is crucial that we continue to do so as we slowly rebuild our economy following the shock of Covid-19.”

The DIT Inward Investment Results also revealed:

  • the 14% increase in FDI projects between 2018-19 and 2019-20 was larger than the increase for the UK as a whole (4%);
  • the 59% increase in FDI jobs from 2018-19 to 2019-20 is in contrast to the 3% decrease in new FDI jobs into the UK as a whole;
  • the 2019-20, new FDI projects into Northern Ireland accounted for 2% of UK FDI projects while new FDI jobs here accounted for 4% of UK FDI jobs; and
  • over the five-year period between 2015-16 and 2019-20, there were 170 new FDI projects into NI, 70 of which came from the EU (41%). This created 8,767 new jobs, with 3,532 from EU projects (40%).

The Minister concluded: “The news that the number of FDI projects and jobs created has increased by 14% and 59% respectively in the year up to April is encouraging.

“In order to speed up our economic recovery and raise our international profile, we must focus on the areas where we are strongest. In areas such as digital, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and clean energy, Northern Ireland is well-placed to attract investment from both here and overseas.

“I will continue to work alongside our business leaders, further and higher institutes and Invest NI to make sure the world knows what Northern Ireland has to offer.”