Investment summit crucial for tapping into NI’s global potential – Badenoch

The Northern Ireland Investment Summit is crucial to tapping into the huge potential that the region has for global investors, Kemi Badenoch has said.

The Business and Trade Secretary said that Northern Ireland is one of the most exciting places to invest in the world due to its unique trading position created by the Windsor Framework.

A number of job announcements have already been made, including 1,000 new jobs created by professional services firm EY over the next five years.

It is expected the new jobs will contribute £33 million to the Northern Ireland economy.

Around 200 investors from across the world including the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific will attend the second day of the summit on Wednesday.

Ms Badenoch said: “Northern Ireland is one of the most exciting places to invest in the world, with its unique trading position and deep expertise in industries of the future.

“Today’s Summit is crucial to tapping into the huge potential that Northern Ireland has and the opportunities it holds for global investors, the people of Northern Ireland and the wider world.”

The event in Belfast is hosted by the Department for Business and Trade, the Northern Ireland Office and jobs creation agency Invest Northern Ireland.

A number of industry-led sessions will focus on advanced manufacturing and engineering, technology, financial and professional services, the green economy, and the life and health sciences sector.

Belfast PeacePlus funding
Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris will address the investment summit (Liam McBurney/PA)

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Hundreds of investors from around the globe will today experience first-hand the expertise, innovation and unique opportunities that Northern Ireland has to offer.

“The productive, global relationships built in this room today will benefit Northern Ireland businesses and communities for years to come.

“I’m proud that Northern Ireland’s rich potential is being boosted by UK Government funding.

“This summit is a fitting celebration of Northern Ireland’s bright future during the 25th anniversary year of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.”

This week a project led by Belfast-based maritime technologies firm Artemis Technologies Ltd has been awarded £15.5 million to develop electric passenger vessel services in Orkney as part of the Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) scheme.

In addition, Northern Ireland-based firms Catagen, Terex and Wrightbus have been awarded a share of nearly £26 million from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s Red Diesel Replacement (RDR) competition.

The three-firm consortium has been awarded more than £6 million in grant funding to test e-diesel and hydrogen dispensing technologies in quarrying.

Northern Ireland Showcase event
Interim CEO of Invest NI Mel Chittock said the conference would showcase NI around the world (David Young/PA)

Mel Chittock, Interim CEO of Invest NI said: “Today’s Summit is an opportunity to showcase our success stories and create a space for investors to learn why Northern Ireland is one of the most attractive places in the world for businesses to invest and grow.”

Speakers at the event include Ms Badenoch, Mr Chris Heaton-Harris, Housing and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove alongside a range of industry experts.

Nineteen companies from across Northern Ireland will also exhibit to global investors, including Londonderry-based Respiratory Analytics, Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel, and Ballymena-based Wrightbus.

The summit was announced during events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

However, it is taking place while the devolved powersharing institutions at Stormont remain dormant, with the DUP maintaining its protest over post-Brexit trading arrangements.