Invest NI helping local businesses boost export potential

Almost 130 local manufacturing companies have enhanced their international sales potential by achieving essential quality standards for their products, thanks to support from Invest Northern Ireland.

The companies participated in Invest NI’s CE Marking Programme, enabling them to add the internationally recognised “CE” logo to their products. This demonstrates compliance with a range of strict EU Directives covering product safety and quality and is essential for exports into the EU and beyond.

Since 2006 Invest NI has delivered £250,000 in funding for the initiative, which is aimed primarily at companies manufacturing a range of machinery and mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment.

Commenting on the success of the programme, Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, says: “The combination of engineering excellence along with compliance with various EU Directives, as signified by the CE Marking, can open up new and lucrative commercial opportunities in foreign markets for local companies.

“The CE logo assures prospective clients that the product is well designed and that quality assurance processes have been followed to a high standard. This not only helps to sell the specific product, it also gives potential buyers more confidence in the manufacturer as a whole.

“Our Programme is open to Invest NI client companies of all sizes and we are especially keen to help recently established businesses become involved. Participation on the scheme also presents an excellent networking opportunity, with many of Northern Ireland’s most innovative companies regularly taking part.”

Ms Hill concludes: “CE Marking is recognised right across the wider European Economic Area (EEA) and, increasingly, in other markets such as the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. This makes the CE logo a powerful tool for boosting export potential.”