Five seek business breakthrough in Holland

Five smaller companies are seeking to expand exports by taking part in Invest Northern Ireland’s successful ‘Going Dutch’ marketing initiative in the Netherlands.

The companies involved in the initiative are, Giltspur Scientific and Linodee, both based in Ballyclare; BMC Engineering, Omagh; Target Dry, Belfast; and Northern M&E from Ballymoney. They are being assisted by Northern Ireland Trade Consultants (NITC) in Amsterdam and Invest NI’s export development consultants. Going Dutch is being managed in the region by Invest NI’s North Eastern Regional Office (NERO) in Ballymena, in association with the agency’s Trade division.

The participating companies will visit the Netherlands later this month for a series of one-to-one business meetings with Dutch businesses organised by NITC staff. The companies, all small to medium sized enterprises which are committed to building exports, have also been helped with market research and with information about business procedures in the Netherlands.

The companies have taken part in workshops designed to help them understand how to do business in this market and also to develop their overall export skills and knowledge.

Des Gartland, Invest NI’s NERO Manager, commenting on the programme, says: “Going Dutch’ is an integral part of our drive to assist SMEs to focus on increasing sales in export markets for sustainable growth and profitability.

“It is a practical initiative designed to help SMEs to strengthen their business. Most of the companies that have expressed interest in ‘Going Dutch’ have experience of doing business in the Irish Republic and Great Britain and are ready to move into a new market with different procedures and opportunities.

“The Netherlands is an ideal market for new and inexperienced exporters because it is accessible and has longstanding links with the UK and Ireland.

“The Netherlands is an excellent base which SMEs can use to increase their knowledge of and contacts in neighbouring markets such as Belgium, Germany and Denmark. The Netherlands, in addition, has a longstanding trading tradition with global links from centres such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. This offers companies excellent opportunities to supply globally from contacts made in Netherlands,” he adds.

Northern Ireland Companies on the Invest NI ‘Going Dutch’ programme:

Giltspur Scientific, Ballyclare – protective shoes for dairy cows

Linodee, Ballyclare – veterinary diagnostics

Target Dry, Belfast – leisure and sports garments

BMC Engineering, Omagh -  precision engineering

Northern M & E, - stainless steel agricultural products