Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has congratulated Invest Northern Ireland on their 2015/16 performance as their end of year results are published.
Welcoming the results the Minister said the agency had continued to deliver for the Northern Ireland economy.
“In 2015-2016 the agency once again exceeded its targets, promoting 5,550 new jobs across Northern Ireland, against a target of 4,000.
“This will secure £341million of employment related investment into our economy, against a target of £220m.
“This is a positive outturn when you consider that responsibility for local business starts has transferred to the new Council structures and Invest NI is no longer able to support job creation as part of large company expansions.
“Investment in research and development, and wider innovation, is also crucial to meeting the ever changing needs of the customer. Invest NI support helped secure £70m of investment in research and development in 2015-2016, surpassing the target by 55%.”
The figures meant that, over the five-year period of the last Programme for Government, Invest NI had helped businesses promote nearly 42,500 new jobs.
That, he said, represented a 39% increase on the previous five years, and 70% over the original Executive target of 25,000 new jobs.
“It is also encouraging that, across the five years, 64% of jobs, and 60% of total investment has been outside of Belfast.”
The Minister said the results were a solid basis on which to go forward during this new Programme for Government period.
“While the Executive finalises the detail around the new Programme for Government, an interim set of targets has been agreed for Invest NI which will provide focus to its work to support business and economic growth.
“These targets include stimulating employment opportunities by supporting businesses with projects that will promote between 4,000 and 6,000 new jobs.
“Between 2,600 and 3,200 of these jobs are to be from indigenous business growth.
“Other important measures will be to encourage increased investment in skills, R&D and wider innovation to ensure businesses remain competitive in a global market and identify and exploit opportunities to grow their sales to markets outside NI.”
“I am confident the agency will work hard to ensure it delivers against these interim targets and am confident it will continue to do so against the subsequent targets which will emerge from the new Programme for Government.
“In my new role as Minister for the Economy I look forward to visiting our home-grown businesses and hearing of their investment and growth plans, and to welcoming new international investors to Northern Ireland.”