Twenty five companies – more than 50 per cent from the construction and building sectors - are taking part in an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to Bulgaria and Romania, from 11-15 May. The mission is the biggest-ever organised by Invest NI to these developing markets in eastern Europe.
The mission, which will be based in the key business centres of Sofia and Bucharest, is being assisted by commercial staff at UK diplomatic posts in both markets.
The group includes major civil engineering and contracting companies as well as several engaged in activities such as materials handling and recycling, two key industries in Northern Ireland. Most of the twenty five companies on the mission are also visiting both markets for the first time.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said both markets offered significant opportunities for Northern Ireland companies, both large and small, across a broad range of business sectors.
“Bulgaria and Romania are benefiting from substantial EU-backed investment in the modernisation of their respective economies. This covers extensive spending on infrastructural improvement including transportation and telecommunications and also on massive environmental improvement projects.
“EU-supported investment in infrastructure in Bulgaria alone is worth in excess of £8 billion. The opportunities are clearly significant in both these developing markets. We are confident that the visit will produce good business leads for all the companies.
“Our staff in Belfast and the commercial posts in Sofia and Bucharest have been assisting the companies in pinpointing business leads and setting up meetings. As a result, each company has a programme of pre-arranged meetings in both markets.
“We’ve also provided expert briefings to companies in advance of the mission and we’ll be ready to provide further support to enable individual businesses to return to both markets within six months.
“This facility is designed to help them to follow up leads as quickly as possible. Expert mentoring support is also available to advise and guide them on doing business in Bulgaria and Romania,” she added.