Foster promotes NI trade in San Francisco

Northern Ireland companies can open doors to help US businesses channel their products and services into Europe.

That was the message from the Trade Minister, Arlene Foster, when she led a 15 company strong Invest Northern Ireland Trade Mission to San Francisco this week.

The minister was addressing Californian companies in San Francisco and said: “The US is an important market for Northern Ireland. It accounts for just over $2 billion of our exports, which is around 20 per cent of our total exports, and is now our biggest market outside Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, particularly for technology-led products and services.

“These are challenging times for the US, UK and wider global economy but battening down the hatches is not the right approach. We need to focus on collaboration and on building partnerships that will facilitate change and help to keep the global economy moving forward.”

Arlene Foster continued: “Accelerating export growth is a strategic priority for the Executive. We see this as pivotal to our commitment to strengthen the Northern Ireland economy.

“Our aim in the Executive is to work closely with Northern Ireland companies on developing flexible and responsive initiatives that will assist them to grow in the global marketplace.

“A number of measures already taken by Invest NI will encourage and assist companies across a wide range of business sectors to significantly increase capability in activities such as innovation and international sales.”

The minister concluded: “Californian companies looking for a business link into the vast EU marketplace of over 500 million people could make business partners on this Trade Mission to help channel their products and services into Europe.”

The 15 companies on the Trade Mission are from a range of sectors including aerospace, ICT and manufacturing. The University of Ulster is also participating in the mission.