1,000 new services jobs created
A US business services company is to create more than 1,000 new jobs in Belfast.
Concentrix, which already employs 800 workers in the city, is investing £36 million to expand its operations.
Stormont's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness joined executives at the company's central Belfast headquarters at Lanyon Place as the announcement was made.
Focusing on call centre operations, Concentrix first set up in Northern Ireland three years ago when it purchased local call centre company Gem.
The operation in Belfast currently services a number of high-profile, blue-chip international companies. Many of the new positions will require multi-lingual skills and involve technical support services.
Senior Vice President of Concentrix Philip Cassidy said: "Our strategy is to grow global revenues significantly over the next three years; this will require us to put in place over 1,000 new posts.
"Since we set up operations in Belfast, we have achieved excellent service delivery and now want to build on this to expand our European base."
Stormont business support agency Invest NI contributed almost £3.5 million of the investment made by Concentrix.
"The support provided by Invest NI, the quality of people and the cost competitive business environment makes Northern Ireland a very attractive location for us," said Mr Cassidy.
Mr Robinson said the jobs represented "excellent news for Northern Ireland".
"This major investment is a tremendous boost for our local economy and is further evidence that Northern Ireland remains one of the most competitive countries in Europe for inward investors seeking talented people in a cost competitive location," he said.
"The decision by Concentrix to reinvest in Northern Ireland sends a clear and strong signal to other potential investors that Northern Ireland remains a great place to work, live and invest.
"I welcome this continued investment by Concentrix and I wish them every success in their efforts to grow and develop their business."
Mr McGuinness added: "This is an unprecedented jobs announcement by Concentrix creating over 1,000 jobs and contributing over £18 million a year in wages and salaries to the local economy."
The Sinn Fein representative said he and Mr Robinson met with senior Concentrix executives on a recent business mission to the United States.
"This news today of over 1,000 jobs reinforces the message: to retain and attract investment you must make every effort to meet and listen to investors regardless of where in the world they are based," he said.
Stormont Economy minister Arlene Foster said the investment was the biggest ever job creation project supported by Invest NI.
"Investments such as this provide valuable job opportunities for a variety of people, particularly those returning to work, those who have experienced a period of unemployment, and young people," she said.
"The company considered a number of other locations before choosing Belfast. The availability of a skilled workforce, the competitive property costs as well as the efficiency of the company's existing operations and Invest NI's support secured the investment for Northern Ireland."