The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has announced plans to open an operational center in Belfast that will create up to 400 jobs.

The NYSE bought a software firm in Belfast a year-and-half ago and vowed to make 75 new jobs at the time, and just announced that they will expand this center and create 325 further jobs.

The foundations for this investment were built by former First Minister and DUP leader Ian Paisley and current Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who visited Wall Street and the NYSE two years ago to show a united front and sell Northern Ireland as a place to do business.

Only last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that a stable and peaceful Northern Ireland would result in new economic opportunities that would help future generations to achieve their potential.

U.S. Special Economic Envoy Declan Kelly was also in Northern Ireland last week with a delegation of top American business men and women who met with their counterparts in Northern Ireland to discuss mutually beneficial economic projects.

“This announcement is yet another vote of confidence in Northern Ireland by a leading U.S. headquartered company, and it is significant for many different reasons, including the number of new jobs being created," said Kelly on Monday.

"The commitment by NYSE Euronext comes at a time when real momentum is building behind Northern Ireland and the great work being undertaken on its behalf by Invest Northern Ireland to attract ongoing inward investment into the region."

The NYSE's announcement is one of the biggest U.S. investments in Europe in recent times and their commitment to Northern Ireland is a sign of the faith they have in the administration and potential for economic development.

“This investment will make a significant impact on the Northern Ireland economy, particularly in the financial services sector,” said First Minister Peter Robinson.

The new opportunities are for highly qualified software techs, and NYSE Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer complimented Northern Ireland on its sophisticated workforce.

“We outsource in a lot of different places, but in terms of the places where we could add this number of jobs and draw from a pool of talent that we thought was suitable for the jobs we are looking for, this is a clear winner," he said.