What Is Inward Investment And Does It Matter?

Inward investment plays a key role in the economy, as it creates jobs, introduces new skills and attracts overseas investment. It provides opportunities for local companies and helps strengthen and deepen private sector activity throughout the economy.

Governments are sometimes criticised for paying too much attention to inward investors and not enough to indigenous businesses; but a balance of both is necessary for a successful economy.

In Northern Ireland, Invest NI is the body charged with attracting inward investors and in recent years it has attracted hundreds of investors and thousands of jobs in a wide range of areas that include Business Services, Financial Services, ICT and Renewables.

Given current indications it appears such success in attracting investment and jobs from companies all around the world will continue and so it is useful to understand how it works.

The inward investment process seems simple but involves a number of key elements, each of which is vital. The elements include: International Agents, Home Receivers, Deal Makers and a Support Team.

International Agents: The international agents are located in overseas markets and their job it is to identify potential investors and encourage them to visit Northern Ireland. It is a challenging, competitive and long-term process, as competition is fierce from other, often better resourced, countries trying to do the same.

Support Team: The Support Team’s job is to provide back-up and logistics to the International Agents and ensure they have what they need when they need it. They provide a home-based resource and help the overseas agents to organise their time and identify, engage and recruit potential investors.

Home Receivers: The Home Receiver’s job is to welcome potential investors and arrange for them to meet other businesses and see the best of what we can offer. The visits are tailored to the investor’s needs and provide an opportunity to build relationships, develop links and do business.

Deal Makers: The Deal Makers job is to finalise the deal and ensure both parties are happy with what has been arranged. They finalise contracts, arrange finance and agree the number of jobs to be supported.

The entire process involves a small team relative to the results produced and at this stage a high level of specialist skills, knowledge and experience has been developed to ensure successful outcomes.

SO, inward investment plays a key role in the economy and will continue to do so, as more companies are attracted to invest and create jobs here.

What do you think?

Does inward investment matter?

Look forward to hearing your comments.