Belfast Telegraph

Belfast 'punching above weight'

Belfast is the UK's second most attractive city for foreign investors, the UK Trade and Investment Department has said.

Over the past five years, Northern Ireland has attracted more than 220 inward investment projects which have generated nearly 21,500 local jobs.

Jobs creation body Invest NI has played a key role in offering financial incentives totalling millions of pounds.

UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green is visiting Northern Ireland this week to meet investors Bombardier and Citigroup, which between them employ 6,400 people.

A spokesman for the department said: "Northern Ireland punches above its weight in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). In the last three years, it has won 7% of the UK's FDI, with only 2.8% of the population, and Belfast has been named as the second most attractive UK city for attracting FDI."

Over the past 20 years, Bombardier has invested more than £1.4 billion in Northern Ireland operations, which has provided high value-added jobs and developed capabilities in key aerospace technologies.

Bombardier's investment of more than £500 million enables it to develop and produce the advanced composite wings for the new CSeries aircraft - the largest ever single inward investment in Northern Ireland.

Citigroup has established and consolidated its presence in Belfast over the past six years. It has developed into one of a small number of centres of excellence for its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations.

Managing director Brian McAreavey said: "Belfast is an ideal location for our EMEA operations, due to the talent pool and availability of skills, time zone, quality infrastructure and competitive operating costs."

Lord Green is also meeting business leaders and Belfast Harbour Commission to learn about developments in the renewable energy market.

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