INI figures demonstrate need for greater economic balance - McCartney

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney.

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney.

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Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney has said the latest Invest NI statistics demonstrate the need for greater balance in the economy of the North.

He was speaking after it was revealed that Belfast, which has the densest concentration of businesses, had the largest INI spend per head at £452.59, compared to £105.39 in the former Derry City Council area.

Raymond McCartney said: “It’s to be expected that a large population centre like Belfast will attract more inward investment because companies locating here will often gravitate towards the large cities.

“That’s one of the main difficulties we face. However, these figures also confirm there is a need for greater balance across our entire economy.

“That is precisely why the Executive established a Ministerial Sub-Group on Regional Opportunities earlier this year to bring a collective focus on what the Executive can do on to these key issues. Both Invest NI and the Enterprise Minister are members of the sub group.

“Job creation in the North West and improving the skills base are key objectives of the group’s work and they continue to engage with established international investors in the North West like Seagate, Fujitsu and Convergys as well as supporting home-grown businesses and new start-ups.

“It’s been clearly shown in recent years how we can generate major investment and employment in the North West and Martin McGuinness, in particular, has stressed his determination to build on that in the time ahead.

“The successful conclusion of the ‘Fresh Start’ Agreement also paves the way for progress on key infrastructural projects such as the A5 and the A6 which will be major drivers of economic regeneration in the North West.”