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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 07:31 GMT
Drive to promote inward investment
A campaign has been launched to double the number of foreign companies setting up in Northern Ireland within three years.

The Invest Northern Ireland strategy is seeking to promote faster growth among existing companies.

It also wants a 50% increase in business start-ups.

Agency Chairman Professor Fabian Monds said doubling the number of inward investment start-ups was "ambitious but achievable".

Entrepreneurs need a supportive environment in which they are encouraged to flourish

Leslie Morrison
Invest Northern Ireland

He said it would have a dramatic effect on the local economy as foreign companies tended to be larger than those started locally.

The Accelerating Entrepreneurship strategy aims to transform Northern Ireland into an "exemplar location for starting and growing a successful business".

'Risk takers'

This would be achieved by creating "an innovative, flexible and fully integrated business support structure".

Invest NI chief executive Leslie Morrison said: "Economic growth is driven fundamentally by entrepreneurs, enterprising people who aren't afraid of failure, and those in existing companies who are committed to innovation and growth.

I would urge all those interested in economic development to contribute to the debate

Ian Pearson
Northern Ireland minister

"Entrepreneurs need a supportive environment in which they are encouraged to flourish.

"Invest NI's aim is to increase entrepreneurial activity and new business starts by innovative measures that stimulate, encourage and support risk takers."

Northern Ireland has the lowest business birth-rate in the UK and the agency believes there needs to be a change in attitude to risk.

"We need to support those who are taking the first steps in thinking about setting up and those who are doing it," he said.

Invest Northern Ireland is targeting businesses with global market potential, those capable of external sales and those focused on the Northern Ireland market.

The Northern Ireland Minister with responsibility for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Ian Pearson, said: "Some very exciting and novel ideas are included in this exceptionally important contribution to Northern Ireland's future economic well-being.

"I would urge all those interested in economic development to contribute to the debate."

See also:

01 Jan 03 | N Ireland
07 Oct 02 | N Ireland
02 Oct 02 | N Ireland
07 Nov 02 | Business Day
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