Invest NI ‘must do more’ as 4% of investors visit Derry
Invest NI must do more to promote Derry to international investors, Derry SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has said.
Mr Eastwood made the comments after it was revealed that just 4% of visits by potential inward investors to Northern Ireland in the last five years were facilitated by Invest NI in the Foyle constituency.
Almost 76% of visits by potential inward investors were made in Belfast’s four parliamentary constituencies.
Mr Eastwood said: “These figures show clearly that more must be done by Invest NI to secure large scale inward investment in Derry. It is important that Invest NI prioritises our city for promotion to potential international investors to ensure it becomes the thriving economic driver it can be in the Irish economy.
“Derry and Belfast are identified as the regional economic drivers of the North yet these figures suggest that our city receives mere lip service from Invest NI when it comes to promotion to international investors with the potential to create hundreds of jobs.
“Of course I’m not naive enough to believe that we can attract all investors, we can’t because the Executive has not delivered the road and rail network or university expansion we need to compete with Belfast and other cities. However, I certainly believe that much more can be done to promote our city to international investors.”
“Invest NI is this week heralding its achievements for the Derry and Strabane region last year but it is clear from our city’s place at the bottom of all the unemployment league tables that much more must be done to help fuel prosperity in Derry,” he said.