Leading sectors in NI

Aerospace and defence

Northern Ireland is a global leader in aerospace technology. It has a dynamic rapidly growing international aerospace industry founded on a strong engineering heritage and rich in knowledge skills and experience.

Business services

The Business Services sector currently employs around 13,000 in Northern Ireland and includes contact centres, management consultancy, security services, facilities management, recruitment services and business to business services.


There are 30,000 people employed in the NI construction sector and output is around £2.1billion.

Creative industries

The creative industries are emerging as one of the fastest growing and increasingly important sectors of the economy. The most recent estimates indicate that there are over 2,500 creative enterprises in Northern Ireland, employing some 34,600 people.

Financial services

Northern Ireland is a high quality, cost competitive location for middle and back office activities within international financial services. Investors in the sector include asset management, insurance, banking, and financial technology firms.

Food and drink

Foodservice organisations in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, other parts of Europe and further afield have been able to count on Northern Ireland for food and drink products that combine innovation, quality and provenance for many decades.

ICT and electronics

Northern Ireland is the most cost effective region within the United Kingdom for software development. Companies now have significant development centres and research activity in Northern Ireland.

Legal services

Northern Ireland is proving itself to be a highly desirable location for international law firms who are re-modelling their operations and enhancing their service offering in response to customer demand and ever-changing legal services market.

Life and health sciences

World-class research and close collaboration between industry, academia and clinicians make Northern Ireland the ideal location from which to design, test and develop innovative solutions for the Life and Health Sciences industry.

Materials handling

Building on a heritage of engineering excellence, Northern Ireland has emerged as a centre of excellence in the field of materials handling equipment.

Renewables and energy

Northern Ireland has extensive experience in areas of renewable energy including offshore wind, tidal and wave, as well as an abundance of skills that are readily transferrable to other renewable energy sectors including solar and biomass.


Northern Ireland’s unique experience of security issues has created a thriving sector with expertise in a range of areas.


Northern Ireland's tourism sector is growing and is set to expand significantly in the next decade.



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