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NI investment 'difficult to find' admits local development agency

Northern Ireland’s economic development agency is facing challenging times ahead to attract inward investment, its chairman has admitted.

Releasing Invest NI’s provisional results for the year to the end of March, chair Stephen Kingon warned: “[The future] will be difficult as people defer, postpone and rethink investment plans.”

While the body met or beat many of its targets for 2007/08, Mr Kingon added: “Whilst the results are strong, it must be clearly understood that in the current global economic climate, businesses everywhere are constantly re-evaluating their positions, with many adopting a more cautious approach, seeking to cut costs and delay ambitions for expansion.

“We are already seeing this translate into a decline in early stage work-in-progress, which will inevitably impact on the out-turns over the next two years.”

Among the agency’s results for last financial year, it recorded 2,600 offers of assistance to clients which it said could result in total investment of £1.18 billion in Northern Ireland.