Foreign investment at 14-year high in North
NORTHERN Ireland recorded its highest level of foreign direct investment last year for 14 years, a new report shows.
The six counties secured 29 projects – up 71pc on 2011.
The attractiveness survey by accountancy firm Ernst & Young showed that London remained the United Kingdom's dominant region for FDI, with 45pc of all UK projects.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland saw strong increases while several English regions outside London fell back. Northern Ireland secured 4pc of UK projects.
Scotland had a dramatic 49pc rise on 2011, with 76 projects, its highest in 16 years, while Wales surged 244pc, securing 31 projects for a five-year high.
The figures come just days after a separate study showed the Irish Republic had increased its market share of foreign direct investment in Europe.
While all of Europe experienced a decline in FDI, Ireland and Turkey performed better than other countries with a much smaller decline.
As a result, Ireland increased its market share of FDI in Europe to 3.78pc and Turkey by 3.42pc.
The study by fDi intelligence, a specialist division from the 'Financial Times', said the performance reflected the "growing stabilisation of the Irish economy and strong growth in repeat investments by existing investors, especially the US."
Ernst & Young said there was a 2.7pc rise in foreign-backed UK projects in the face of an overall 2.8pc decline in investment across Europe.
The UK's 697 projects created a 1.4pc rise in foreign direct investment jobs to 30,311.
Ernst & Young's UK and Ireland managing partner Steve Varley said the UK had made exceptional progress in improving its standing for FDI.
"This is a remarkable testament to the openness and international outlook of the UK economy," he said.
"The UK's ability to win investment has been a crucial source of growth and pride over many years."