Japanese firm creates over 400 new jobs for Northern Ireland
A Japanese firm is set to create over 400 new jobs to Northern Ireland in the wake of the G8 summit.
Terumo BCT - a global manufacturer of medical devices - plans to create 416 new jobs at a facility in Larne.
A member of the Terumo Group family of companies, it is owned by the Japanese-based Terumo Corporation.
Terumo BCT is also investing over £2million in two research and development projects - the first research activities that will be undertaken at the Larne facility.
Troy Deppey of Terumo said the "capability of the Larne facility is renowned throughout the company and our global markets".
"I am delighted that, with Invest NI’s support, we can grow this facility and really cement our presence here," he said.
"Global demand for our products is increasing and the R&D activities in particular will enable us to tap into the skills and research base in order to develop new products and processes that will increase competitiveness and maintain our reputation for quality excellence."
First and deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness welcomed the deal, which was announced on Wednesday.
Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe referred to the planned expansion by Larne-based Teruma BCT during a visit to Titanic Belfast yesterday evening.
Mr Abe said the jobs news would be 'significant'. Speaking of Northern Ireland, the Japanese leader said: "I should have come to this wonderful place much earlier."
He met Japanese businessmen working in Northern Ireland - his country's companies employ more than 2,000 in the region - after touring the Titanic Belfast visitors' attraction and invited Stormont's First and Deputy First Ministers for a return visit.
"My administration's top priority is Japan's economic revitalisation," he said.
"Last week we announced Japan's revival strategy which laid out what I call comprehensive economic policies for economic revitalisation."
He said his key words were challenge, openness, innovation and action, the latter the "foundation" of them, and described Northern Ireland as a "treasure trove" of the virtues.
"I am very happy to see that this place is now grasping further opportunities for growth once again through taking new actions thanks to the progress in the peace process," he added.
Fujitsu Telecommunications has employed hundreds of engineers in Northern Ireland. Mr Abe said his country's companies were opening up the new future of the region by using Japanese technology.
"I would like to ask the Government of Northern Ireland to continuously offer support to the companies of Japan," he said.
He is the first Japanese prime minister to visit Belfast and the Liberal Democratic Party leader said he had high hopes Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness would travel to his country in the near future to invite further investment.
He drank a toast with Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness of Armagh apple and rhubarb punch at the bottom of a replica of the grand staircase on the Titanic.
Earlier he saw sections of the more than £90 million visitors' centre and heard of its success during its first 15 months in operation.
The Queen and film maker James Cameron are among celebrity visitors.
The First Minister accepted his invitation to visit East Asia.
He said: "It is an enormous pleasure for me to welcome the prime minister of Japan to the great city of Belfast and this visitor centre.
"The Prime Minister of Japan has a special place in our hearts because he was the first of the G8 leaders to arrive and one of the last to leave so he is staying with us longer than other leaders have."