NORTHERN Ireland remains in the strongest position of any part of the UK – outside London – to secure Foreign Direct Investment following the referendum to leave the EU, according to a new report launched today, Wednesday, October 26.
Two leading business advisory firms, accountants BDO Northern Ireland and legal firm Carson McDowell have produced the report to highlight the competitiveness of the region, post-Brexit and assessed a range of business and tax advantages that are highly attractive to inward investors.
These include low operating costs and a well-educated and skilled workforce, the prospect of reduced corporation tax and direct access to the EU and GB markets.
Launching the report, BDO NI’s Managing Partner Peter Burnside said:
“We are second in the league of UK regions in terms of attracting inward investment as we have a progressive, business friendly taxation system.
“With an impressive engineering heritage, strong work ethic and world class education system, Northern Ireland boasts a highly skilled labour force, modern infrastructure and forward thinking business culture that investors look for and need.
“In today’s challenging economic environment, it is reassuring to see how we in Northern Ireland are uniquely positioned to turn uncertainty into opportunity in making this part of the world somewhere that overseas businesses want to invest.
“Although the Brexit discussions remain at an early stage, it is clear that the Government will prioritise business competitiveness throughout UK.
“With flexible and ambitious plans for the future, Northern Ireland will continue to be a place of opportunity, building on its strengths and enhancing relationships with its key trading partners, both in Europe and beyond,” said Mr Burnside.
Outlining the opportunities, Carson McDowell Partner, Richard Gray said:
“This is a place where ambition and talent are encouraged and developed by leading educational facilities producing a highly skilled workforce.
“Our infrastructure and location means that we are well-connected to the rest of the UK and Europe, with the support of a state of the art telecommunications network.
“Low operating costs, lower costs of living and a business friendly working environment has established Northern Ireland as a destination for knowledge intensive sectors, such as financial services and technology.
“There will almost certainly be changes to the legal landscape in relation to our exit from the EU, but we believe that Northern Ireland will retain these key selling points for investors’ post-Brexit.
“Despite the inevitable changes and the uncertainty this brings, we in Northern Ireland are well positioned to maximise the opportunities Brexit will provide, offering a lower cost base with a clear legal and progressive tax system supported by a well-educated workforce.
“With these attributes and a ‘can do’ attitude, Northern Ireland remains open for business and ready for growth” said Mr Gray.