NI can become ‘top FDI venue in Europe’ - Foster

First Minister Arlene Foster pictured with Upper Bann MLA Sydney Anderson and Cllr Carla Lockhart
First Minister Arlene Foster pictured with Upper Bann MLA Sydney Anderson and Cllr Carla Lockhart

Existing strengths allied to the planned reduction in corporation tax could make Northern Ireland the most attractive investment proposition in Western Europe First Minster Arlene Foster.

Speaking at a DUP breakfast in Upper Bann Mrs Foster said it growing concerns over the global economy meant the Executive must redouble its efforts to attract investment and promote jobs.

“The restoration of devolution in 2007 coincided with a global economic downturn,” she said.

“Despite the global circumstances we have enjoyed great success.

“Northern Ireland has achieved levels of foreign direct investment which are the envy of most other UK regions.

“We have seen Belfast established as a base for many multi-national firms and our film industry go from strength to strength.”

Stating that the DUP had “stayed the course” during negotiations to secure the devolution of corporation tax, she said the benefits from that would be seen after April.

“Despite the naysayers and the critics it will be another valuable asset as we compete in an extremely competitive global marketplace, but one in which we have already proven we can be successful.”

Combining a low tax rate with the existing strengths of a talented workforce and a competitive cost base, Invest NI support for job creation, training, R&D and innovation, woud greatly increase the Province’s appeal.

“I want to provide opportunities for young people so that the jobs and careers they wish to follow aren’t only available by moving away.

“Everyone can agree with the platitude of providing better opportunities, but like so many other things in Northern Ireland, we can easily agree on the principle, but not everyone is quite so keen to actually take the action to make it happen.

“The economy has obviously been a huge part of my life as a Minister in the Executive, and like the DUP, I will not be walking away from the challenges and the opportunities which face us.”

“I want people to share in the vision that I have outlined for Northern Ireland, and in doing that they can be assured that I will be here for the long-term, delivering on that vision.

“The people of this country deserve nothing less.”