Belfast companies look to India at Invest NI workshop

Around 30 companies took part in an Invest Northern Ireland workshop in Belfast held to help them explore business opportunities in India, still one of the world’s most dynamic markets.

The companies heard detailed presentations from Invest NI’s two experienced trade advisers in India, Tarun Gupta of T&A Trade Solutions and K Shankar of Feedback Consulting, both based in Mumbai, India’s commercial centre. The seminar focused on opportunities in the construction and associated sectors.

The trade advisers also provided one-to-one advice to companies attending the seminar at Invest NI’s Belfast offices.

The event was chaired by Barry Clarke, Invest NI’s Senior Vice President, India, who is based at the Invest NI Trade and Investment office in Mumbai. A similar event was also held in Magherafelt.

Mr Clarke, speaking at the seminar, said: “The Indian economy is now expected to grow by around six per cent this year, well ahead of projections for other global economies. It’s an exuberant and dynamic nation, the world’s biggest democracy, that’s being driven by a young population, more than 70 per cent is below 35 years, a government committed to economic growth through sustained investment in infrastructure, and successful industries such as IT, biotechnology and engineering.

“Sustained economic growth rates of more than eight per cent and a massive domestic market of 1.2 billion people have resulted in a growing recognition of the country as an emerging economic powerhouse, second only to China. This growth is providing substantial opportunities to Northern Ireland companies across a broad range of sectors.

“The economy is also expected to move ahead faster in the second half of this year because of aggressive interest rate cuts by the Bank of India and increased government spending, especially on infrastructure projects including roads, airports, power and telecommunications. This will offer further significant opportunities for Northern Ireland companies in construction,” Mr Clarke added.

He urged local companies to take the opportunity provided by an Invest NI trade mission to Mumbai and Bangalore in September to explore the Indian market.

Mr Clarke said: “The mission will provide participants with excellent opportunities to network with and introduce their products and technologies to key players in the Indian market.

“An increasing number of Northern Ireland companies are now exporting to India. Many have used our trade missions and the excellent support from the Invest NI office in Mumbai. This is proving a successful way to enter the expanding Indian market.

“Our trade advisors can assist with research to facilitate export and research component suppliers to provide cost-effective supply chains. The UK has particularly strong ties with India, and Northern Ireland companies are well-positioned to take advantage of this growing export and investment market.”