31st Aug 2012
Foster urges firms to exploit overseas opportunities in job-creation bid
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is urging Northern Ireland businesses to exploit potential overseas markets in a bid to curb unemployment.
Commenting on the latest unemployment figures she said Invest NI would redouble its efforts to engage with the broader base of local businesses in a bid to grow jobs.
She said: "I believe there are many opportunities available for local businesses. That is why I have asked Invest NI to work with the wider business base in Northern Ireland and redouble our efforts to boost employment through initiatives such as Boosting Business and the Jobs fund. I would encourage local businesses looking to grow and create jobs to contact Invest NI on 0800 181 4422 for advice on what support might be available.
"There are many opportunities to be exploited in overseas markets which has been clearly demonstrated by Wrightbus recently after it secured a £40 million deal in Singapore. We need more local businesses to follow this path.
"My Department's efforts remain focussed on achieving the type of structural change that is necessary to attain sustainable economic growth. At the same time we will continue to provide meaningful support to businesses through a wide range of Invest Northern Ireland programmes tailored to meet individual business needs.
"While figures show that unemployment has increased over the quarter, the rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland (7.6%) is still below the equivalent rates in the UK (8.0%), European Union (10.3%) and the Republic of Ireland (14.6%)."