First business mission to Romania and Bulgaria

Ten companies are taking part in the first Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to Romania and Bulgaria from 8-13 June. Most of the companies taking part are new to both markets.

The mission, which is based in the key business centres of Bucharest and Sofia, is being assisted by commercial staff at the UK diplomatic posts in both cities. It is the first-ever business mission from Northern Ireland to Bulgaria.

Virtually all the participating companies are either researching opportunities in both markets or are planning to establish business relationships with potential customers or partners. Only two – Handel Export Consultancy, Belfast, and Madden Bros, Ballymena – are already represented in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, commenting on the mission, said: “Both Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in January 2007 and are now benefiting from extensive financial support in key areas such as the transport and telecommunications infrastructure, and overall economic development.

“Romania is also now the second biggest consumer market in Eastern Europe after Poland and is already one of the leading investment locations for over 3,000 UK companies including Mivan, the Antrim construction company. This means that our companies can also explore opportunities either to supply or form partnerships with other UK businesses located in the country.

“Our research shows that there are opportunities for our companies across a very broad range of industries including, engineering products and services, food, environmental expertise, and consumer goods.

“This led us to include both countries in our Passport to Export programme of events a year ago as part of our commitment to encourage and assist local companies to explore developing markets within Europe and further afield.

“The number of companies which signed up to take part in what is essentially an exploratory mission to Romania and Bulgaria is extremely encouraging,” he added.


European Business Link          Newtownards     Outsourcing services

Euro Springs                            Dungannon        Wire shapes and springs

Fayrefield Foods Ireland          Belfast                Dairy products

Finrone                                     Castlederg         Housing for pigs and waste storage

Handel Export Consulting        Belfast                Marketing consultancy

Hawk Protection                       Fivemiletown      Protective garments

Lagan Holdings                        Belfast                Civil engineering

Madden Bros                            Ballymena         Interior fit-outs

Rapid International                   Tandragee         Concrete mixers

The Streat Franchising             Holywood          Café franchise