Invest NI: Record year for new Northern Ireland jobs

Invest NI Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton, described the performance as "exceptional"

The jobs promotion organisation Invest NI helped support almost 11,000 new jobs in 2013, the best year in its history.

Its chief executive, Alastair Hamilton, described the performance as "exceptional."

Invest NI , established in 2001, said some of the jobs were being created by 23 companies new to Northern Ireland.

Projects towards which it offered taxpayer funding can take up to five years to deliver all the jobs promised.

Mr Hamilton was presenting the latest performance figures to the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee at Stormont.

Increased emphasis

Jobs promoted in 2013 totalled 10,800 - up almost 50% on 2012.

Despite a priority of attracting foreign investment, most of the new jobs are being created by local companies.

This could change in future.

New rules from Europe on state aid will see increased emphasis placed on bringing overseas companies to set up in Northern Ireland.

However, Invest NI is still failing to hit targets for helping firms to export more.

Increasing exports are seen as an important way of growing Northern Ireland's economy.

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