Business explored with Saudi Bin Laden Group

Top procurement staff from the Saudi Bin Laden Group, one of the world’s biggest construction businesses, will meet Northern Ireland companies in Saudi Arabia this month.

The meeting with the $5 billion Saudi Bin Laden Group has been lined up by Invest Northern Ireland and will take place in Jeddah during a trade mission to Saudi Arabia.

The meetings are being set up by a Belfast born engineer, Shazad Khan, who was raised in Sandy Row and educated at Methodist College, Belfast.  He later graduated in electrical and mechanical engineering from Queen’s University.  Mr Khan, whose father owned a fabric shop in Sandy Row, has worked for the Bin Laden group for over 20 years and is now the group’s contract procurement manager.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, said: “We met Shazad during the trade mission to Saudi Arabia in January 2008 and he offered to set up meetings with the Bin Laden team the next time we were in Saudi.  We’ve been maintaining contact with him and decided to accept his offer and to set up a second mission, from 23-30 October. We’ll be meeting the Bin Laden procurement team in Jeddah on 25 October.

“It’s a marvellous business opportunity for our companies because the Saudi Bin Laden Group has vast interests in construction, engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications.  As well as holding huge contracts for the construction of six new economic cities and major highways in Saudi, the group has extensive interests in other Mid East markets including the Lebanon and Egypt.  It also has the exclusive contract for work on the Holy Sites at Mecca.

“The construction market in Saudi is booming due to huge oil revenues.  The meeting will give our companies a tremendous opportunity to make contact with key decision makers.”

Fourteen companies are taking part in the Invest NI mission to the Saudi business centres of Jeddah and Riyadh.  The group includes five companies from the NI materials handling sector.

Leading the group will be Dr Bill McGinnis, Chairman of the McAvoy Group, a major UK manufacturer of modular buildings, who has been doing business in Saudi Arabia for over 30 years.

Dr McGinnis, commenting on the visit, said: “Saudi Arabia has long been a feature of Invest NI’s business development programme.  It has become one of our most popular and successful markets because it is an excellent marketplace in which to do business.

“The companies in this delegation are all experienced exporters and many already have business in Saudi Arabia.  There is a strong representation from Northern Ireland’s world leading materials handling industry; particularly the mobile crushing, screening and recycling sectors in which Northern Ireland is now an acknowledged global centre of excellence in machinery design and manufacture.”

As well as materials handling companies, the delegation includes several companies offering expert security products and services, airport equipment, electricity generation machinery and personal diagnostic equipment for various markets.

Northern Ireland business delegation visiting Saudi Arabia from 23-30 October 2008

Advanced Sensors Ltd, Newtownabbey - instrumentation for oil and gas industry;

AJ Power Ltd, Craigavon – gensets

Boomer Industries, Lisburn -  plastic extrusions for construction;

CDE Ireland Ltd, Cookstown - quarrying and sand washing machinery

CEM Systems Ltd, Belfast - access control systems

CIGA Healthcare Ltd, Ballymena - diagnostic systems

Cunningham Covers Ltd, Maghera - transport tension curtains

Mallaghan Engineering Ltd,  Dungannon - airport ground equipment

Newpark Ltd, Magherafelt - security systems

NIROX Ltd, Ballymena - recycling machinery

Powershield Ltd, Lisburn - steel doors

Quigg Golden, Belfast - construction dispute resolution

Telestack International Ltd, Omagh -  conveyors and materials handling machinery

Terex Minerals Processing Ltd, Omagh - technical support to minerals processing industry