Ministers embark on business mission to the Middle East and India

The First Minister, deputy First Minister and Economy Minister have embarked on a five day business mission to the United Arab Emirates and India.

The purpose of the visit is to generate export growth, stimulate further investment from the Middle East and India and promote our tourism potential in these fast growing markets.

Speaking at the start of the visit the First Minister Rt. Hon Peter Robinson MLA said: “The United Arab Emirates and India are important trading partners for Northern Ireland businesses. As an Executive, we recognise the importance of providing leadership and support to our local companies to help them develop international business opportunities and to grow their businesses through exports.

“The visit provides an important opportunity to build on our growing reputation in global markets for quality products and services. Combined with a skilled, flexible and talented workforce we have a real opportunity not only to sell Northern Ireland as a place to do business but also for our companies to sell more internationally.”

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA said: “Delivering economic growth through building strong economic relationships with key trading partners and businesses is a priority for the Executive. We have demonstrated through our successful visits to North America the value and benefit of maintaining and building relationships with international businesses and the importance of securing new market opportunities.

“This visit provides an opportunity to build on the quality and capabilities of the local companies already operating in these markets, as well as providing an opportunity to develop new business.”

Minister Foster said: “Supporting Northern Ireland companies and promoting Northern Ireland for trade, investment, and as a great tourist, conference and golfing destination are key tenets of our Programme for Government. We must begin to focus more on markets where there is the greatest potential to accelerate the growth of Northern Ireland’s economy.

“It’s a very special year for tourism in Northern Ireland and I am excited about launching NI2012 to coincide with the influx of visitors for the London Olympics and with new air routes opening from the region, we are expecting an increase in visitors from the Middle East and India.”

The Ministers’ visit will take them to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE and Mumbai and New Delhi in India. They will have a range of engagements with existing businesses and potential investors. In India they will lead Invest Northern Ireland’s latest business mission to the country. During their five day visit they will also launch NI 2012 in the cities of Dubai and New Delhi.