David Cameron cast himself as a salesman for Northern Ireland as he made a vigorous pitch for further foreign investment in the region at a major business conference in Belfast.
The Prime Minister told 350 delegates from a range of countries around the world that they would benefit greatly from setting up in what he described as a "very special part" of the UK.
"I make no apology for being a bit of a salesman today," he said.
"I know some people think it's a bit undignified for a Prime Minister to make a sales pitch.
"But I am saying that's nonsense.
"I am passionate about the power of business to create jobs and growth.
"And I am passionate about what Northern Ireland has to offer.
"So I'm here today with one simple message: put your money in Northern Ireland and be part of this incredible success story.
"Because investing in Northern Ireland makes business sense."
Mr Cameron made his investment pitch at the high-profile event in the Titanic Belfast centre.
The conference was organised to capitalise on the positive global publicity the region generated with the successful hosting of the G8 summit in June.
However, the effort to portray post-Troubles Northern Ireland in a positive light has potentially been hampered by an apparent upsurge in dissident republican violence.
Extremists intent on destabilising the peace process have been blamed for murdering two men this week - in Belfast and Londonderry - in apparent vigilante attacks over alleged criminality.
Around 120 current investors in the region have been invited to the conference to give their perspectives on the region to the 55 would-be investors that are attending.
The conference started as police confirmed that a viable mortar bomb device had been found in Londonderry.
Mr Cameron joined Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the landmark venue in east Belfast as they tried to convince investors of the benefits of setting up in Northern Ireland.
Mr Robinson said the development of a vibrant economy was the number one priority of the power-sharing executive.
He suggested that negative stories in the news did not provide a true picture of the region.
"From time to time the news agenda works against us but in every country, if they were judged by what goes on the news, I am afraid we would have a very skewed understanding of each other's existence," he said.
"Northern Ireland has come a very long way over the past 15 years - politically, socially and economically.
"We have many of the building blocks in place to take our economy to a higher level and inward investment will play a very crucial role."
Mr McGuinness stressed that the region was a safe place to do business and hailed the work ethic of local people.
"We have been on a remarkable journey over the course of the last 15 years," he said.
"And during the course of that period we have been joined by many people from the world of politics and indeed many people from the world of business.
"This represents another stage of this part of our world moving forward in a very dynamic way to provide a better future for all the people we represent."
The conference comes in a period when political relations between Mr Robinson's Democratic Unionist Party and Mr McGuinness's Sinn Fein are at a low ebb, after a year marked by street disorder sparked by tensions over the thorny issues of flags and parades.
Later today Mr Cameron will hold talks with the two men at Stormont Castle about the problems besetting the devolved institutions.
But this morning the First Minister and Deputy First Minister presented a united front for the visit of the international investors.
Last night the two leaders and Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers hosted a welcome dinner for the delegates, who include current and potential investors, at Hillsborough Castle.
The investment conference comes after Mr Cameron hosted fellow leaders of the G8 nations at Lough Erne Golf Resort in Co Fermanagh in June - an event that witnessed none of the protest disorder that had dogged previous summits.
Mr Cameron later visited the nearby Bombardier aircraft factory.
The Canadian company, which has a long-term presence in Northern Ireland, has over recent years been rolling out a £520 million investment in its Belfast facilities to design, manufacture and assemble the wings for its new C Series commercial aircraft.
The Prime Minister hailed the firm's commitment as the biggest single investment in Northern Ireland.
Earlier he told delegates at Titanic Belfast that the peace process had provided one of the "most inspiring political stories of our time".
But he said the recent economic story also had positive elements.
"Northern Ireland has a track record of attracting inward investment," he said.
"With over 800 foreign investors, Northern Ireland is now second only to London as the top UK destination for inward investment, with almost 8,000 jobs from foreign investment in the last three years alone."
But he stressed that more work was needed to rebalance the economy from its traditional reliance on the public sector.
Mr Cameron also acknowledged that political problems remained unresolved at Stormont.
"To make new investments, you want to know that the political progress we have seen in Northern Ireland will remain on track," he told the conference.
"It is a remarkable story that politicians who were adversaries are now working together.
"And I can say this as Prime Minister, having worked with Peter and Martin, the first and deputy first ministers of Northern Ireland over these past three years, no one should doubt how serious these politicians are about working together.
"To anyone who asks whether this can endure - there is a track record in Northern Ireland of more than 15 years of progress.
"Of course, there are big political issues that still need to be resolved.
"And I know myself coalition government isn't easy. I know that first-hand - and we've only got two parties sharing power in Westminster.
"It's simply not possible to agree on everything. But we're committed to working closely with you as you tackle these issues.
"And I know that you are determined to find lasting solutions in the interests of the whole community."
Mr Cameron has vowed to make a final decision next autumn on the long-running saga of whether corporation tax powers should be devolved to Stormont.
If powers were transferred to the executive, it could consider cutting the rate to compete better with lower business tax levels in the Republic of Ireland.