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Discussion Starter #21
It would lead to more consumption within the economy, therefore growing goods & services etc. However, it would do very little to increase FDI or address the problem we have here of a massive over reliance on the public sector.
Indeed and the level of reduction would be a deciding factor. A small reduction wouldn't make a massive difference and also remember that a lot of things such as most food are zero rated and others have a reduced VAT rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Bombardier in Belfast stands to gain from another major order for aircraft.

Delta Air Lines has placed a firm order worth more than £1bn for 40 CRJ900 NextGen aircraft which also includes an option for a further 30.

If the options are converted to firm orders the total value will be more than £2bn.

Bombardier Belfast is responsible for the design and manufacture of the centre fuselage, engine casings and composite wing components for the jet.

The news follows an announcement last week of a record order for business jets placed with the Canadian aerospace giant, which will also bring work to Northern Ireland.

In a statement from the Northern Ireland division, the company said it was delighted with the order, which it described as a "further vote of confidence in the skills and capabilities of the workforce in Belfast".

"The CRJ Series of aircraft have the lowest operating cost among regional jets available today, burning up to 16% less fuel than competitive aircraft, and airlines have recognised the proven advantage of the CRJ aircraft," it said.

"Orders such as these over the past week are helping to maintain our current manpower levels and secure the long-term future of our design and manufacturing operations in Northern Ireland."
BBC News
 

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from BBC

Andor Technology's pre-tax profits hit £10m


Andor technology, the Belfast-based camera maker, has made pre-tax profits of £10m this year.

The figure is up by £282,000 from 2011.

Andor, which makes high performance digital cameras for use in scientific research, is one of only three companies from Northern Ireland listed on the stock exchange.

This is the first year that the firm has paid out a dividend to shareholders.

Chief Executive Conor Walsh said the company would still re-invest 10% of turnover into its base on the Springfield Road in west Belfast.

"That will be £5m to £6m of investment this year," he said.

"During the last year we spent £1.5m extending the facilities, and adding new people."

However, in the current climate, he stressed that the 2p per share dividend was particularly important, in order to reward shareholders.

Despite most of Andor's business coming from laboratories who are dependent on grant funding, the orders are still flowing. Mr Walsh said the company was planning for growth to continue over the coming years.

Reeds Rains reviewing Northern Ireland branches


An estate agency which earlier on Monday issued a statement saying it was closing all its Northern Ireland branches has now said that is not correct.

Reeds Rains now says it is "reviewing our branch network in Northern Ireland".

"We are exploring the opportunity to change the operational model through investment in franchising," it added.

Reeds Rains, which is headquartered in Yorkshire, employs 72 people in NI.

"We believe local ownership of the branches in Northern Ireland, but continuing to trade under the established Reeds Rains brand, is the best approach to ensuring the future success of the business and the people working in the branches," it said.

The Reeds Rains branches are in Portadown, Glengormley, Newtownards, Carrickfergus, Bangor, Lisburn and two in Belfast on the Lisburn and Andersonstown roads.

The earlier statement issued by the company said the branches would close by the end of year.

However, Reeds Rains said this statement was issued without approval and was incorrect.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Ulster manufacturers are seeing sparks of recovery

The bottom line for Northern Ireland's end of year accounts reflected a year of few positive signs of hope, a monthly survey reflected today.

But amid the gloom of a private sector continuing to shrink at a faster pace than the rest of the UK, seeds of promise remain in the manufacturing sector, according to the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland purchasing managers' index.

Richard Ramsey, chief economist at Ulster Bank, said 2012 as a whole saw private sector output, new orders and employment fall at a faster rate relative to 2011. "It is noted that the official economic growth figures for 2011, released last month, signalled a 0.2% annual contraction in Northern Ireland's overall economy. Therefore we anticipate a steeper contraction to be revealed for 2012 in due course. "In 2013, the prospect of the Northern Ireland economy escaping recession in its technical sense is probably 50:50."

He feared the economy would continue to "bump along the bottom" during the year, neither getting significantly better or worse. "However, a significant minority of firms are expected to grow their businesses and avail of opportunities in the year ahead," he said.

Manufacturing, seen in December as the only sector to show promise, continued to outperform the private sector, services and construction, recording an increase in staffing levels during the last month of 2012.

Overall, activity fell in December, though at a reduced rate, with the headline seasonally adjusted business activity index at 44.8, up from 41.6 in November. Further marked reductions were seen in activity and new orders, despite companies offering discounts to clients. Lower workloads and attempts to reduce costs led to a further decline in employment, albeit at a slower pace.

A further decrease in business activity was recorded across the Northern Ireland private sector, although the rate of contraction eased to the slowest in five months. The decline was still marked, however, compared with stagnation in the rest of UK. All four sectors posted falling activity, led by services in which reduced client demand was mentioned by respondents who posted a decrease in output, as well as a lack of opportunities to secure new business. Such a scenario therefore led to another decrease in incoming new orders.

The PMI for December also noted a further fall in employment, and those surveyed also reported that attempts to reduce costs had been behind the latest fall in employment. However, the rate of job cuts did ease for the second month running to the slowest since April 2012, with manufacturing bucking the trend, recording staff level improvements for the third time in five months.

Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/b...parks-of-recovery-16260958.html#ixzz2Hx2BlwgO
 

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American IT firm to create 33 jobs

An American IT company is to create 33 jobs in Belfast.

Oxford Consulting Group (OCG) is to establish a development centre in the city. The investment is supported by £330,000 of assistance from Invest NI.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "This investment has been won for Northern Ireland by a combination of factors, not least of which is the availability of talented IT staff. "Invest NI worked hard to ensure that OCG was aware of all the benefits of setting up in Northern Ireland including our cost competitive environment, technically advanced infrastructure and the support on offer.

"These new high quality jobs will pay salaries more than double the private sector average and will contribute around £1.4 million a year to the economy. Investments like this demonstrate that despite the challenging global economic climate, businesses that can offer high quality services focused on customer needs will continue to grow."

OCG was established in Ohio in 1998 and employs almost 200 professionals. It has developed, implemented and supported the technology portfolios of hundreds of companies.

Michelle Kerr, president of Oxford Consulting Group, said: "We were very impressed with the quality of Northern Ireland's offering and with the support made available to us by Invest NI. "The Belfast operation will play a key role in supporting our projected growth, which will see us double revenue by 2015."


Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/n...to-create-33-jobs-16262035.html#ixzz2I8wAFVJm
 

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Realistically, the protests are not going to scare every potential investor away from the country. Look at the flaming mess that London became last year and there are still businesses setting up in London.
 

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Speaking of the protests I was at the Nolan show tonight, some angry people on both sides.

Some guy stood up and unfolded a Union Jack. Not sure if they broadcast it, the show was recorded rather than being live which it normally is.

But back on topic, great news.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Realistically, the protests are not going to scare every potential investor away from the country. Look at the flaming mess that London became last year and there are still businesses setting up in London.
London is a different matter altogether, investors will pour money into London no matter what. It's a mega city and a globally leading one at that.

Belfast is different, we're small and still trying to establish a solid economic base and enhance the private sector here. These protests won't deter all investors but some are likely thinking twice.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Speaking of the protests I was at the Nolan show tonight, some angry people on both sides.

Some guy stood up and unfolded a Union Jack. Not sure if they broadcast it, the show was recorded rather than being live which it normally is.

But back on topic, great news.

The Nolan Show last night was an absolute disgrace. The show producers must have walked to East Belfast and just handed out tickets. Studio full of mouthy yobs.
 

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Conference cancelled due to flag riots:

The violence related to the Union flag protests that has been broadcast around the world has cost one of Belfast’s leading hotels a major education conference.

Although the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) annual conference was not due to be held in The Europa until November, the organisation, which represents the heads of 177 independent girls schools in Great Britain, has cancelled its plans to bring the event to the city this year.

Conference organisers have blamed the sustained rioting that has marred the streets of Belfast and made worldwide headlines since December for the decision to move the event from Belfast.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/n...of-cancelled-schools-conference-16262071.html
 

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Discussion Starter #32
^^

I seen that, I can't blame them. They are dependent on delegates attending and thus paying the registration fee to fund the conference. It's very disappointing for local businesses.

On the positive side however the trouble doesn't seem to be bothering investors. According to InvestNI, "No planned visits by potential investors have been cancelled and all recent scheduled visits have taken place without disruption."
 

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The Nolan Show last night was an absolute disgrace. The show producers must have walked to East Belfast and just handed out tickets. Studio full of mouthy yobs.
You're right, there was a part of me that was a bit scared at the recording.

Some guy said to Nolan before they recorded if he would let the Loyalists speak (both sides were as bad as each other imo).

After the recording, some guy who was in the audience was cheeky to me for no reason.

I really hope this does not deter too many investors.
 

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It would lead to more consumption within the economy, therefore growing goods & services etc. However, it would do very little to increase FDI or address the problem we have here of a massive over reliance on the public sector.
Concentrix Technologies creating 100 IT jobs in Belfast



Concentrix Technologies is part of the international Synnex Corporation, and provides customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Invest Northern Ireland is providing financial support of £749,000.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster met representatives of the company recently. "I am pleased such high quality jobs have been secured for local people," she said.

"These jobs will deliver in excess of £4m annually in salaries. This is proof that Northern Ireland remains one of the most competitive places in Europe for inward investors seeking talented people in a cost-competitive location."

Chris Caldwell, president, Concentrix Corporation, said: "Our European operations service a fast growing, dynamic market so when looking for potential locations for our expansion, Northern Ireland was immediately one of our main options.

"The support provided by Invest NI, the strength of the ICT sector and the resources on offer make our decision an easy one.

"We have already commenced recruitment at a range of levels from graduate to highly experienced software professionals and hope to have the first 20 developers in place by January 2013."

Concentrix Technologies' Belfast operation will be based at Lanyon Place. The company produces software for a wide range of business activities.
ll
 

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Expansion plan brings new jobs hopes at Almac

There is more good news for investment in Northern Ireland after a Co Armagh pharmaceutical company announced a £6.5m project which could create up to 60 new jobs over the next three years.

Drugs firm Almac has built a new 13,400 sq ft facility, which includes two new analytical laboratories and will effectively double the firm's current pharmaceutical development capacity.

Recruitment of experienced skilled staff for the new roles has already started.

David Downey, vice president of commercial operations at Almac, said that salaries would be "significant". But he added that recent negative headlines had prompted some major clients to ask whether Northern Ireland is a safe place to do business.

The Almac Group, founded by the late Sir Allen McClay, provides services to more than 600 companies, including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The firm employs over 3,300 people and is headquartered in Craigavon, while US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California.

The new facility will focus on the development of tablet and capsule formulations for new drugs which are in the early stages of development and which have not yet reached the market. The work at the new site will help speed up pharmaceutical development from product conception and initial testing to commercial production, which will address the growing needs of existing and new clients.

Mr Downey said that ongoing links with schools and colleges in Northern Ireland would help the firm pinpoint the best people for the roles. "We already have programmes out there with colleges and we do look at people coming from those degrees and courses and initiatives which suit our long term objectives," he said. "We also have a history of pulling in people from India, Poland and China and have people from those countries already working for us at our existing facilities. We would be looking at anyone from college graduates to people with already five to 10 years' experience in the field so the salaries could be significant. "The new facility, where we first began running projects two weeks ago, is actually almost a mirror image of a facility we opened in 2006, which now employs 100 people, so we think that 50-60 jobs in the first three years is a reasonable estimate."

Mr Downey added: "We are a Northern Ireland company and this is where we seek to expand and grow our business and it is a shame what is going on elsewhere in the country. "Sadly it is something we do have to address with our non-Northern Ireland clients, who would make up the vast majority of our customers, asking us are we okay and is Northern Ireland a safe place to travel to."

Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/b...bs-hopes-at-almac-16262961.html#ixzz2IbX25CEF
 

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Top law firm makes a case for growth with 67 new posts



The lure of Northern Ireland's legal talent has prompted a top London law firm to create a further 67 jobs at its Belfast office.

Allen & Overy has already taken on more than 300 people here since opening in February 2011 and said it has been so impressed by the performance of the base that it has decided to add to the headcount.

"Since our investment in 2011 we have been continually impressed with the contribution our Belfast office has made in supporting the delivery of high quality legal services to Allen -amp; Overy's international client base," Andrew Brammer, head of Allen -amp; Overy's support services centre, said.

The office provides support to the firm's London and global business.

The new jobs won't just be for qualified lawyers, however. The roles will involve "a mixture of core support service processes such as elements of finance, IT and business services".

Of the 67 extra positions, 24 are the result of expected growth over the next three years while 43 will be transferred from Allen -amp; Overy's US and European bases. The latter group of employees will be offered relocation to Northern Ireland so the total number of new positions available here could increase in the near future.

Indeed, the firm has already overshot its target of taking on more than 300 people within five years of opening.

"We are ahead of where we thought we would be in terms of recruitment under the original investment as we have found a wealth of highly skilled and talented people.

"In a difficult global economy, Northern Ireland has provided us with an effective and competitive location from which to grow our business," Andrew Brammer said.

While Northern Ireland's legal talent has been a big draw, assistance from Invest Northern Ireland of £348,400 has also helped.

"The fact that this international firm plans to expand so soon after its initial investment clearly indicates that Northern Ireland has more than delivered in terms of skills, cost competitiveness and infrastructure," Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said.


Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/b...with-67-new-posts-16265862.html#ixzz2IzIiVNsU
 

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100 new McJobs

The fast food chain, McDonalds, is to create 100 new jobs in Northern Ireland through investment in its restaurants.

The company has 26 Northern Ireland outlets, employing more than 2,000.

Meanwhile, regional airline Flybe has said it expects to make 15 of its 150 staff redundant at its Belfast base.

Flybe say they are not considering a reduction in the number of routes and destinations they fly to, but the frequency of flights from Belfast each day is under review.

Flybe made a loss of £1.3m in the first six months of 2012, and they are now trying to fill that gap and get the company to break even in the year 2013-2014.

As well as redundancies, the company are also hoping to save money by outsourcing some jobs in ground maintenance and catering from Belfast city airport to external companies.

Flybe claim that management will be taking the biggest hit in this round of redundancies, with 20% cuts being taken at boardroom level, and all executive directors forfeiting a month's pay.

Chief executive Jim French pinned the blame for the significant losses on the government's Air Passenger Duty tax. He claims that 18% of their UK ticket revenue is now Air Passenger Duty charges.

"If that was reduced to 6% as we have been campaigning for, then we would be in substantial profit. In 30 years of business, we've never been in this position before."

The news comes on a day when the latest figures revealed that Northern Ireland's overall unemployment rate has fallen slightly but the number of people signing on the dole continues to rise.

Last year, 70% of the new positions in McDonalds were given to those under 21.

Joanne Jones of McDonalds in Northern Ireland said it was important to give young people the chance to get workplace experience.

"I'm confident that in the year ahead there will be the same level of enthusiasm and talent from candidates in Northern Ireland, and we're looking forward to employing even more young people across the province," she said.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
New figures measure NI's output for first time

The economic downturn in Northern Ireland was deeper and more prolonged than the rest of the UK, according to a new series of economic data released.

Since 2007, when economic activity was at a peak, the economy has shrunk by more than 10%. The figures have been devised as an attempt to find a measurement for GDP or overall output of the Northern Ireland economy for the first time. The figures show NI's recovery has also been weaker than the rest of the UK.

The development came on the day that 114 new jobs were announced in Dungannon and Portadown.

Output of the UK economy is measured by Gross Domestic Product figures but to date there are no comparable figures to illustrate the performance of the Northern Ireland economy due to the lack of data.

The new Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index (NICEI) will now be used as the closest approximate measurement for GDP in Northern Ireland drawing on the various statistical sources that currently exist. The series shows economic activity peaked in the second quarter of 2007. The index has been on a downward trend since, falling in 16 out of the last 21 quarters and overall it has fallen by 11.4% to Q3 2012.

According to the new series, economic activity has risen in three of the last four quarters but is still close to the minimum level reached in the second quarter of 2012.

The authors said: "It should be noted though that there have been three quarter-on-quarter increases out of the last four quarters in the NI series, providing some indication of a return to growth over the year (0.3% growth to Q3 2012 compared to Q3 2011)."

The NICEI results covering the period July - September 2012 estimate that NI economic activity increased by 0.7% over the quarter to 96.5% in Q3 2012 - but is still close to the minimum level reached in Q2 2012. The NI measure is currently close to its minimum reached in Q2 2012 while GDP in the UK has shown some recovery from the minimum level reached in Q2 2009.

The availability of the new series was welcomed by Richard Ramsey, chief economist at the Ulster Bank. He said: "While strictly speaking they are not GDP figures, but they provide the most comprehensive indicator of the health of the (Northern Ireland) economy.

"In terms of getting an accurate reading of the true health of the economy, they are going to be the most accurate indicator and the most closely followed going forward."

The index has been developed using data from existing quarterly indices of output from the production, services and construction sectors combined with agricultural output data and employee jobs data for the public sector. The Department of Enterprise who devised the series said: "The NICEI provides an appropriate short term indicator for the NI economy."

The new figures will be released on a quarterly basis.
BBC News
 

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Accor hotel plans for Belfast falter over flags protests​
from BBC

A major hotel development in Belfast city centre could be abandoned due to the continuing loyalist flags protests.

Joe Jordan, president of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said French firm, Accor, wanted to pull out of the planned hotel on Dublin Road.

An Accor spokesman said: "We can confirm that Accor will be opening a third hotel in Belfast this summer and has other development projects."

Accor also has planning approval for another new hotel in Belfast, an Etap.

The spokeswoman could not clarify which hotel is opening this summer.*

Mr Jordan told the assembly's enterprise committee the threat to the hotel plan was "purely based on the last nine weeks".

Mr Jordan blamed perceptions encouraged by media coverage of street protests.

"If you listen to the media, next to Syria is Northern Ireland,"** he said.

On Monday 3 December, Belfast City Council voted to fly the union flag at city hall only on designated days.

Nationalists at Belfast City Council had wanted the union flag taken down altogether, but in the end voted on a compromise from the Alliance Party that it would fly on designated days.

Unionists said they considered the changes to be an attack on their cultural identity.

A loyalist protest outside the building erupted into violence minutes after the motion was passed. Disorder also broke out in east Belfast.

Since then there have been a series of protests across Northern Ireland, some of them have been violent with more than 100 police officers injured and several people arrested.
* Probably not hard to figure out which one will be opening considering construction began last year on the Dublin Road.

** Load of sensationalist shite - Nest to Syria, in regard to protests are Egypt against the Muslim Bortherhood/Hamas and there after you have further protests in Tunisia (most recent), Bahrain, Iran and Jordan - Belfast is no longer making world or European headlines in comparison to these stories.

Don't believe everything you read/see in the media. ;)
 

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What awful journalism! Firstly Joe Jordan says plans are under threat, then spokesman for accor confirms the group ARE opening a hotel in the summer, making no reference to the headline before having a gender change and refusing to give further details. All in all the article appears to be a hashed up series of unrelated stories which add up to not very much at all.

The protests are embarrassing, damaging, and wholly avoidable with proper leadership but it is encouraging to see people returning to the city in large numbers.
 
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