, the UK arm of the online retailing group, will today open a vast logistics centre in Swansea, marking the biggest single investment in Wales since devolution in 1999, measured by job creation. Financial Times

The centre, which spans an area the size of 10 football pitches, will generate 1,000 new jobs, with 1,700 more to follow over the next five years. Of the total, 1,200 will be permanent positions.

Rhodri Morgan, Welsh first minister, said: 'At a time when there’s a lot of doom and gloom around, this is a shaft of light for Wales.'

After learning that Amazon was scouting for prospective sites, Welsh officials made contact with the company in December 2006, Morgan said.