Almost 1,000 jobs are being created in Wales and Northern Ireland after the insurance giant Legal & General and two South Korean companies yesterday unveiled expansion plans.
Legal & General said that it would recruit about 400 people over the next three years for a new sales and advice centre being set up in Cardiff. The company, which declined to reveal how much it was investing, had considered sites in North-east England and Surrey.
The decision was welcomed by the Welsh Development Agency as an "important milestone" in achieving their target of creating 10,000 new jobs in finance and commerce.
More than 560 new jobs are on their way to Northern Ireland following investments of more than pounds 23m by South Korean companies Daewoo and the YG-1 Tool Company.
Daewoo is creating 330 jobs by the end of the year in a pounds 14.8m expansion, with Government-backing, of video recorders and deck mechanisms production at its plant in Antrim.
The expansion was announced by Northern Ireland Economy Minister, Baroness Denton, during a visit to the company headquarters in South Korea. She said it was "an extremely important" investment because it reduced the Antrim plant's dependence on components from Korea.
The company, which set up in Northern Ireland in 1989, expects to employ 1,000 by December.
KH Nam, vice-president of Daewoo, said the Northern Ireland facility was one of the group's main overseas investments. "We see the Antrim plant at the forefront of our strategy to treble our VCR market share in Europe and to expand sales into the Russian republics."
Meanwhile, another 230 jobs are being created by YG-1 at an pounds 8.5m plant to manufacture precision cutting tools in west Belfast.