Press release

Foreign investors see opportunities in Northern Ireland

34 inward investment opportunities were secured in Northern Ireland last year, creating over 1,600 new jobs.


Foreign investors continue to see investment opportunities in Northern Ireland as new figures published today by the Department for International Trade showed the country attracted 34 inward investment projects in 2016-17.

This led to over 1,600 new jobs being created providing security and stability to thousands of families.

In another record year, the UK attracted 2,265 foreign direct investment projects which led to the creation of nearly 15,000 new jobs across the country.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said:

Today’s latest foreign direct investment figures show Northern Ireland continues to be an attractive place to do business. 34 inward investment projects were secured across the year, creating over 1,600 new jobs and meaning more people with a regular pay packet for themselves and their family.

Keeping the UK attractive to overseas business partners is important for our future success and we must continue to welcome investors that are willing to make a sustained, long-term commitment across the whole country as we build an economy that works for everyone.

International Trade Secretary, Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, said:

Northern Ireland has a strong track record in financial services, business and professional services, renewable energy, aerospace and biotechnology; I’m pleased overseas investors continue to recognise their expertise.

As an international economic department, the Department for International Trade will continue to promote the UK as a whole to potential investors and support the Invest NI to attract inward investment.

The figures published today show that the US retains the top spot accounting for 577 projects of all inward investment projects to the UK. China (including Hong Kong) remains in second place with 160 projects and last year’s third place India is joined by Australia and New Zealand in joint third place with 127 projects each.

Demonstrating the diversity of the UK’s economy, sectors that performed particularly well include technology, renewable energy, life sciences and the creative industries which all saw an increase in the number of projects.

As part of the government’s drive to attract inward investment, in January this year the department launched a major global marketing campaign – Invest in GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland – to promote the UK’s offering to international investors.

To date, the campaign has generated 1.4 million page views of the invest section of the digital service and recorded over 540 prospective investor enquiries.

Notes to Editors

  • The department records wider types of inward investment projects, including mergers and acquisitions and those that are not publicly announced by foreign investors.

  • Therefore, the FDI project figures reported are different from those reported by external organisations, such as EY and FT, who track FDI project flows mostly based on investment announcements.

  • These external organisations report on calendar year, while the department’s statistics are for financial year.

  • EY’s UK Attractiveness Survey 2017 ranked the UK first in Europe for FDI projects in total.

Published 6 July 2017