Northern Ireland might not be the most obvious location for industry investment but Jeremy Fitch, executive director of Invest Northern Ireland, believes it presents plenty of opportunities.
“It is best demonstrated by the track record of the businesses that are in Northern Ireland at the moment, and we have a flourishing aerospace sector,” he explained. “Up to 50% of all of the business class aircraft seats are made in Northern Ireland through Collins [Aerospace] and Thompson [Aero], so that is fantastic, and then of course Shorts and Spirit [Aerosystems] are our anchor tenant.”
There have been a number of challenges in the Northern Ireland market around the Windsor framework – which related to the movement of goods between the UK and the EU following Brexit – but there are also big opportunities resulting from it, according to Fitch.
“Northern Ireland now is uniquely placed withing the British Isles to service both the UK market and the European market. It is the only place where you can have free access to the UK and Europe for manufacturing,” he argued.
The goal of Invest Northern Ireland is to get businesses to come and invest in the country and start working there. “Our role is to take the businesses that are already there and encourage them to become more competitive through innovation and skills, but also to attract new investment in. We feel particularly with that Windsor framework benefit, there is big opportunities coming down the line,” Fitch concluded.
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