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Citi adds 600 positions in Northern Ireland jobs boost

BELFAST (Reuters) – U.S. bank Citi will hire 600 people in Belfast in one of the largest expansions by a multinational in Northern Ireland in recent years.

Sixteen years after a peace deal largely brought an end to three decades of sectarian violence, Northern Ireland’s economy remains heavily dependent on subsidies from the United Kingdom treasury.

It has been eclipsed by the Republic of Ireland, whose low corporate tax rate has helped it become one of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign direct investment in the world.

Northern Ireland, where average wages are lower, has been lobbying the British government to allow it to cut its corporate tax rate to better compete for jobs with Dublin.

Citi already employs 1,500 people in Northern Ireland, most in back-office operations. The Northern Ireland’s jobs agency said it had offered support of around 6 million pounds ($9.4 million) of a total investment of 54 million pounds. ($1 = 0.6380 British Pounds)

(Reporting by Ian Graham; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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