HC Deb 25 May 1995 vol 260 c750W
25. Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what effort are being made to attract inward investment into the Province. [24645]

Mr. Ancram

The Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland acting through the Department of Economic Development has overall responsibility for attracting inward investment to Northern Ireland. It has representative offices in Great Britain, Germany, the United States and Asia. In light of a more positive business climate in Northern Ireland, the IDB plans substantially to increase its overseas representation. Already, an office has been opened in Atlanta, Georgia and a person has been appointed in Singapore to research and to identify foreign investment potential.

26. Mr. Simon Coombs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the level of inward investment in Northern Ireland since the ceasefires. [24646]

Mr. Ancram

Investment inquiries have risen dramatically since the ceasefires to 743 in the six months ended 31 March compared to 189 in the corresponding period last year. First-time visits also rose from 146 in 1993–94 to 163 in 1994–95. However, because of the long lead time on decisions by companies about their internationally mobile investments, it will be some time before the practical benefits of the ceasefires are seen in terms of much needed additional jobs on the ground.