Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is home to a young, skilled population and over 900 international companies in a range of sectors. The strong market, growing demand and business-friendly environment mean that 75% of new investors choose to reinvest.

Expanding your business

Queen’s University in Belfast is now ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide. A strong network of professional services companies exist with local market experience to guide you. Operating costs in Belfast are over 50% lower than other major UK cities.

Investing capital

Northern Ireland is 1 of the 8 designated UK centres of excellence for financial services. Investor engagement shows that cities with highly-skilled workers are great markets for investment. Northern Ireland’s education system is one of the best in Europe and the best in the UK for high school qualifications.

Buying goods and services

There is ample air, rail, road and boat links to the rest of the world. This includes 3 international airports from where London is just 1 hour away. Northern Ireland also has a vibrant advanced manufacturing and engineering sector.

Around 30%

lower labour costs than other European cities

100 gigabyte

per second telecoms link


of residents under the age of 40

Over 1.8 million



business degree graduates each year

2 hours

from Belfast to Dublin


of high school graduates go on to further and higher education

1 in 11

people employed in the knowledge economy

Strategic markets: new technology, property, tourism and leisure

New technology

Northern Ireland has the highest availability of superfast broadband and 4G download speeds in the UK. This supports the phenomenal growth in knowledge industries within Northern Ireland. It is the world’s number 1 international investment location for US cyber security development projects.


Planning approval progresses faster than before as these decisions are now taken by Northern Ireland’s 11 local councils. Top-end office lettings went up 40% in Belfast in 2016, making the capital the third high-growth location for office lettings in the world. Student housing and the public rental sector also offer huge potential.

Tourism and leisure

Millions of visitors are attracted to the stunning scenery, including the Giant’s Causeway, a wealth of heritage attractions and world-class golfing. Investors put 3,800 more hotel rooms into planning in Belfast alone over the last year.

Speak to us

Contact our expert team in China to learn more about how DIT can support your business.