Powerscreen International Distribution of Dungannon last night received the Northern Ireland Exporter of the Year Award 2002 from Ian Pearson MP, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, at a gala ceremony in the City Hall, Belfast.
The annual event, which is in its 11th year, was organised by Invest Northern Ireland with sponsorship from Flybe and the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr Pearson, the keynote speaker, said: “Continued success in international trade is essential if we are to achieve faster growth rates and expand the number of truly worldclass companies here. We need to build on the achievements of the past decade in which exports more than doubled to over £4 billion.”
The Minister also confirmed that later this month, his Department will be releasing the findings of the annual export and sales survey.
“The actual statistics are currently being finalised but I am aware that the results confirm the challenging trading conditions experienced within most sectors. Our companies have fought back with new and innovative products and services. They must continue with developing new products and identifying niche markets in which to sell goods and services. In doing this they will build on success to date and strengthen the Northern Ireland economy,” added Mr Pearson.
Presenting the Innovative Products/Services Award to Schrader Electronics, Prof Fabian Monds, Invest NI Chairman, said: “A commitment to innovation, an Invest NI strategic theme, underpins the export achievements of the companies which have gained awards and commendations this year.
“Over the past year, Invest NI has assisted over 300 R&D projects representing a investment of almost £24 million by local companies. Powerscreen, this year’s winner, for example, has an extensive R&D programme that enables it to introduce around three new products every year to meet the needs of customers in its key markets.
“More than 60 companies were helped to invest in R&D for the first time. In addition, Invest NI supported the formation of 17 new Centres of Excellence which promise an £80 million investment in R&D,” he said.
Congratulating Powerscreen International, Frank Hewitt, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive, said: “Powerscreen is a great example of what can be achieved by Northern Ireland companies who can combine effective R&D with aggressive marketing. World markets are becoming increasingly demanding and increasingly competitive and Northern Ireland industry will only realise its full potential if we can stay ahead of the game in terms of product development and determined marketing.”
Jim French, FlyBE Managing Director, said: “As a company founded on the entrepreneurship of the late Jack Walker and focused on innovative services, FlyBE applauds the enterprise of Northern Ireland exporters.”
Powerscreen International, an engineering company exporting screening and recycling machinery to 40 countries, gained Northern Ireland’s premier award for export achievement for a 17 per cent growth in exports from 2000-02.
“Successful exporting requires cost effective and convenient access to global markets. Flybe, supports and congratulates all those involved in exporting, bringing economic growth and prosperity to Northern Ireland. Having operated from Belfast for over 21 years our commitment to the Province is further underlined by our association with this most worthwhile and prestigious event.”
To highlight the importance of innovation to business growth, a new award, the Innovative Products/Services Award was introduced and was awarded to Schrader Electronics, Antrim for its contribution to vehicle safety in the development of the unique Remote Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
The other award winners announced at the event were:
Traded Services Exporter of the Year: Gem, Belfast.
Small Business Exporter: Colorite Europe, Belfast.
New Market Entry Exporter of the Year: Mivan, Antrim.
Six companies also received commendations during the event attended by over 200 business leaders and senior managers from local firms.
The awards were judged by an independent panel and made on export performance over the three-year period 2000-2002.
Northern Ireland Exporter of the Year Awards 2002
Award Winners and Highly Commended
1. NORTHERN IRELAND EXPORTER OF THE YEAR 2002
Winner: Powerscreen International Distribution Ltd, Dungannon.
Humax Electronics Ltd, Newtownards (manufacture of digital set top boxes).
Norbrook Laboratories Ltd, Newry (veterinary and human pharmaceuticals).
Schrader Electronics Ltd, Antrim (Remote Tyre Pressure Systems).
2. INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS/SERVICES EXPORTER OF THE YEAR 2002
Winner: Schrader Electronics Ltd, Antrim (Remote Tyre Pressure Systems).
Highly Commended: Andor Technology Ltd, Belfast (scientific cameras).
3. TRADED SERVICES EXPORTER OF THE YEAR 2002
Winner: Gem, Belfast (customer relationship management).
4. SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTER OF THE YEAR 2002
Winner: Colorite Europe Ltd, Belfast (vinyl compounds for medical equipment).
Highly Commended: Mallaghan Engineering Ltd, Dungannon (airport ground handling systems).
5. NEW MARKET ENTRY EXPORTER OF THE YEAR 2002
Winner: Mivan Ltd, Antrim (construction in Malaysia and India).
Highly Commended: The McAvoy Group Ltd, Dungannon (modular construction in Nigeria, Norway and Caribbean).