To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what most recent assessment is of the outcome of the 2013 Investment Conference.
I understand that follow-up from the Conference has been positive with Invest NI hopeful that it will lead to a number of investments from companies already established in Northern Ireland and new investors. Experience from previous Investment Conferences show that it can take up to two or three years from first contact to the signing of contracts in respect of new investments.
I am very pleased about recent announcements such as Fujitsu's intention to create 192 new jobs in Londonderry, BT's announcement that it is to create 165 jobs at a new BT Flex customer contact centre in Belfast and Ryobi's recent confirmation of its £32 million investment in its Carrickfergus plant creating 100 new jobs. Hosting the G8 Summit and the International Investment Conference has greatly reinforced Northern Ireland's deserved reputation as an excellent location for overseas investors and a good place to do business, and the recent announcements are testimony to that.