Largest Ever Trade Mission to China will Explore Eastern Promise

Oct 13, 2004

The largest ever trade mission to China, organised by Invest Northern Ireland, is giving thirty-four local companies the opportunity to develop trade links and business alliances in one of the world’s biggest marketplaces.

The trade mission, led by Mike Mills, President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, takes place from 23 November to 3 December, offering participating companies the chance to visit Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

A series of tailored business meetings, briefings and networking events has been arranged to allow delegates to meet existing and potential customers and business partners.

The companies represent a wide range of sectors including companies that are at the forefront of technological innovation in the medical, environmental and data-communications fields, together with manufacturers of traditional products such as linen and carpets. .

Alan Hingston, Director of Trade in Invest Northern Ireland, comments: “This is our fifth major trade mission in the last four years and the number of participants involved underscores the importance of China as a market for our companies. As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, China offers substantial opportunities for Northern Ireland companies.

“We believe that the nature and quality of what our companies have to offer fits well with China’s main developing sectors. Our expertise in areas such as telecommunications and environmental control can contribute greatly to the development of the country’s infrastructure, which we know is a priority for the Chinese government.”

Some of the companies taking part on the mission are already doing business in China and are keen to cultivate their contacts and to explore prospects for further business co-operation such as joint ventures and strategic alliances. Others are using the mission to carry out market research and identify trade opportunities.

Mike Mills comments: “Developing export markets is vital to the success of the Northern Ireland economy, and trade missions such as this are an invaluable means of identifying and nurturing trade links with other countries. China is a particularly important market for us with the total figure for UK exports to China last year standing at £2,118 million.

“I believe Northern Ireland companies have much to offer and am confident that alliances forged as a result of this mission will bring benefits to both regions.”

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