HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc766-7W
Mr. Peter Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans there are to attract further inward investment projects to East Belfast. [123701]

Mr. Pearson

Internationally, Invest Northern Ireland promotes and markets the Northern Ireland business proposition as a whole. While the siting of investments is ultimately a decision for investing companies, Invest NI does make use of incentive packages to promote investment into Targeting Social Need (TSN) areas.

In recent years the shift in Foreign Direct Investment flows towards service industries has increasingly focused new investment on metropolitan areas, in particular the central business areas of regional cities, and this has resulted in major investments in Belfast along the River Lagan, most of it in the financial services sector.

It is planned that a number of important high profile business delegations from the United States and elsewhere will visit Belfast between now and the end of 2003 and areas of East Belfast such as the Titanic Quarter and the Northern Ireland Science Park will feature prominently in their programmes. These exciting new developments in East Belfast will further increase the attractiveness of this constituency as a location for investors.