Facebook Inc is to increase its UK headcount by 50 percent, hiring 500 new staff members and backing the British capital as an important technology hub.

The social media company is moving to a new London headquarters in 2017, and has plans to up its headcount from 1,000 to 1,500, the company said in a statement last week.

“Many of those new roles will be high-skilled engineering jobs,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice-president for the EMEA region. “The UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company and is an important part of Facebook’s story.”

At a speech on Monday given to the annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry, a lobby group, Mendelsohn also said the UK needs to avoid shutting itself off to the global economy due to competition from rival tech hubs such as Berlin and Tel Aviv. She said the movement of talent across European borders is “very important” to the company.

“We need to make sure we continue to look outward and not inward,” Mendelsohn said. “We need to stay competitive.”

The announcement extends a recent string of similar promises made by major US tech companies regarding their plans in the UK.