Belfast’s FDI strategy voted second only to Hong Kong

Belfast’s foreign direct investment (FDI) strategy is second only to Hong Kong’s according to the Financial Times FDI magazine Editor’s Choice Awards.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 3:25 pm
Cllr Dónal Lyons shows off the eight fDi magazine awards won by Belfast during the MIPIM conference in Cannes

The announcement came on the first day of MIPIM, the world’s top property development and investment event in Cannes, France, where Team Belfast was celebrated on a worldwide stage after collecting eight accolades.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Belfast has picked up awards at the fDI Magazine awards ceremony. 2019 is proving to be the city’s most successful to date.

Among the eight accolades was first prize for business friendliness.

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Belfast’s position is also secured in the Top 25 emerging and developing global markets, with the following positions clinched on the mid and small sized cities leader board.

The overall rankings saw it take fifth place in the top 10 for economic potential, third in the human capital and lifestyle, sixth in cost effectiveness and fourth in connectivity.

“These fDI magazine awards demonstrate just how far we’ve come on our journey to achieving inclusive regeneration in Belfast,” said Cllr Dónal Lyons, chair of Belfast City Council’s city growth and regeneration committee and who is leading the 98 strong Team Belfast MIPIM delegation.

“We’ve still got a long way to go; but for now, this is welcome recognition of the energy that Team Belfast is investing on a daily basis, with strong partnership and collaboration in place across public, private and third sector to promote the city and region as a prime location for inward investment,” he added.

“Today’s awards show we’re on target to achieve our Belfast Agenda ambitions.

“Since 2015, £100 million wotrth of office space has been developed, and there’s currently another £100m under construction.

“We’re focused on securing further investment so that our economy can support an additional 46,000 jobs, our city can become home to an additional 66,000 people, and every young person leaving school has the opportunity to fulfil his or her potential. That’s why we’re here at MIPIM.

“Investors are looking for connected, innovative and resilient cities with highly skilled workforces, extremely competitive prime office rates and a high quality of life for employees and their families. We’re embracing new technology to help us share all the reasons why it makes great business sense to invest and locate in Belfast through an app, a touch screen map thanks to a partnership with Tourism NI, and VU city, a digital 3D model that gives interactive views of the city.

“We offer a connected, reliable outreach centre for businesses across the world, as well as globally recognised research centres in secure information technologies, cognitive robotics, renewable technologies and cancer research.

He added: “Our office rents are half those of Dublin and one third of the rents in London. We’re already home to 900 international companies and almost 75% per cent of new investors reinvest. We offer a great quality of life here. We’re very fortunate to have access to green space, a thriving cultural scene and the countryside and seaside, which makes Belfast and the surrounding region a great place to live, work, study and visit.