Minister rejects proposal to help border area

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An Assembly Minister has rejected co-operating with the Irish government to secure overseas investment for border counties such as Tyrone.

Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone asked Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell for his assessment of the potential benefits of Invest NI working more closely with IDA Ireland to promote investment in the border areas.

The proposal was discounted by the Minister on the grounds that Invest NI was in direct competition with the Republic of Ireland in terms of securing overseas investment.

“In order to compete internationally, Invest NI must focus on the Northern Ireland proposition and what we have to offer a potential investor”, he said.

“Any attempt to mix this message with what would be a considerably different proposition in terms of the Republic of Ireland’s offering, would serve to dilute the impact of our work overseas.”

Invest NI has overseas offices located in North America, Great Britain, Continental Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. These offices are responsible for sourcing new Foreign Direct Investment.