Economic Development

The Northern Ireland Bureau is working to develop mutually beneficial partnerships through: creating a North American business contact network; monitoring political and policy developments that impact the business environment; supporting trade missions to North America; and facilitating visit programs to Northern Ireland.

Fresh Talent and Skills in Abundance
Northern Ireland’s highly educated and skilled English-speaking workforce provides a steady stream of fresh talent for knowledge-based companies. Northern Ireland’s people have a strong work ethic and are highly loyal with turnover rates amongst the lowest in Europe

Competitive Operating Costs
Our operating costs are significantly lower than the rest of the UK and Europe. Office rents can be secured for as little as £12.50 per square foot in the Greater Belfast area, compared to £29.11 in Dublin and £26.13 in Washington, DC.

Advanced Telecommunications Infrastructure
Northern Ireland was the first region in Europe to have 100% access to broadband. It is among the first to operate and experience high-speed, next generation services with a new 40-gigabyte per second transatlantic communications link between North America, Northern Ireland and Europe. This provides secure, reliable services and is delivering prices up to 20% below market rates in London, Dublin, Manchester and Glasgow.

Sector/Cluster Strengths
Belfast has recently been ranked as the top location in the British Isles for customer call and contact-center based activities. Northern Ireland also boasts world-class companies in the aerospace, engineering and life science sectors.

Excellent University/Business Links
Queen’s University, Belfast and University of Ulster have globally-recognized research centers across a range of disciplines, which are producing new ideas that change the world in which we live and work. They each have strong track records in commercialization of research and in spinning off successful business ventures.

Accessible to Europe
Northern Ireland provides a competitive near-shore proposition to Europe, with the advantage of operating in the same time zone, regulatory environment and similar culture to the rest of the UK. As part of the EU, companies located in Northern Ireland can take advantage of tariff-free access to the world’s largest consumer market.

Strong and Dynamic Economy
The Northern Ireland labor market continues to perform well with employment numbers continuing to rise. The unemployment rate consistently falls well below the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Pro-Business Climate
The regional government is committed to developing the knowledge-based economy and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Regulation is kept to a minimum. As part of the UK, the region benefits from a low inflation, low interest rate climate. Companies also have ready access to a broad range of funding options as well as developing venture capital market.

Generous Financial Assistance and Support
Northern Ireland offers a highly attractive package of financial incentives, recruitment and training, research and development support tailored to each company’s needs. Invest NI works in an ongoing partnership with investors to ensure all necessary support is given throughout the lifetime of a commercial venture.

Our Existing Investors’ Success Speaks for Itself
In recent years, NI has become increasingly successful in attracting foreign direct investment. Key investors include multinational companies such as Citi, Bombardier Aerospace, Fujitsu, New York Stock Exchange, Liberty Mutual, Caterpillar and Allstate.