First Minister Carwyn Jones says a deal has been struck to bring hundreds of jobs to a business centre in Cardiff as he prepares to “sell Wales abroad”.
Speaking at his monthly press conference at the Welsh Assembly ahead of a trade mission to India next month, Mr Jones said it was crucial Wales’s voice was heard in a tough marketplace.
He added the purpose of the visit was to “promote Wales as a place to invest in, visit and do business”. He will be accompanied by representatives from a selection of Welsh businesses as well as academics who will seek to “sell Wales’s message”.
“There are many other nations who are vying for investment but we know we have links with India and a number of Indian businesses already employ a significant number of people in Wales, said the First Minister.
“So we know the Welsh-Indian relationship is already a reality and I want to see it strengthened.
“We are absolutely focused on stimulating demand in the Welsh economy as a place to invest and create more opportunities for all our people.”
The latest investment comes from Mumbai-based company Firstsource, a move the First Minister claims will potentially bring hundreds of jobs to the Welsh capital.
But Graham Morgan, Director of the south Wales Chamber of Commence, said he questioned the benefits of the Firstsource deal.
“The investment from Mumbai comes off the back of a Welsh-Bangladeshi mission back in
September but due to the caveats and conditions of the mission, we don’t know how many jobs it will create – it could be 400, it could be 40.”
During his statement, Mr Jones said foreign visits were essential for attracting “high quality, sustainable investment on international markets”.
“We are actively working with a number of different companies and organisations who have expressed an interest in investing in Wales and creating high quality jobs as a direct result of the visits I made to China and the US.”
But Mr Morgan refuted the worth of some of the First Minister’s “official visits” which do not feature an explicit trade mission.
“These visits are yet to bring any specific investment and while we would welcome any inward investment in Wales, there have been relatively few examples over the last 12 months. More needs to be done to boost our economy.”