New support base for German traders

Companies aiming to build business in Germany will now be able to access the advice and practical support available from Invest NI’s Trade Development Centre in Dusseldorf.

The decision to create a base in Düsseldorf, capital of Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine Westphalia, is an essential part of a drive by Invest NI to boost exports to Germany, one of the world’s most important markets.

The German office will be announced by Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director at the start of the agency’s first multi-sectoral trade mission to Germany, from 7-12 September. The mission companies will be based in Dusseldorf and many have already benefited from expert advice and assistance provided by the office.

Mr Hingston said: “Germany is currently Northern Ireland’s biggest export market on the continent, purchasing manufactured goods from local suppliers totalling almost £240 million in 2006/7. Germany currently sources a wide range of products from Northern Ireland. These include meat and dairy products, precision engineered components for both the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as healthcare items.

“This mission has been largely designed to support companies new to Germany, Europe’s largest economy. It will enable them to explore opportunities and to position themselves within a market which, although sluggish in the current climate, is still the most cash rich in Europe.

“The Düsseldorf office will co-ordinate and support a number of export initiatives in Germany, including trade missions and participation in major exhibitions over the coming months. Among these are Medica, the world’s largest life science exhibition held annually in Düsseldorf, (19-22 November), and Aircraft Interiors in Hamburg in March of next year, with further initiatives planned for the German market throughout 2009,” he added.

The Invest NI Trade office in Dusseldorf is headed by Adrian O’Hare, an Ulsterman with a vast knowledge of the market and extensive experience in dealing with German companies.

Northern Ireland companies taking part in the Invest NI trade mission to Germany from 7-12 September 2008 are:

CIGA Healthcare, Ballymena - self-diagnostic products.

Cocoon, Lisburn – event marquee systems.

Empowerment Quality Engineering, Omagh - software quality assurance systems.

Greenfields Ireland, Belfast – dairy products. (Greenfields Irish Butter is an established brand in many German supermarkets.)

Jackson Reece, Waringstown – herbal baby wipes.

McCauley Trailers, Toomebridge - trailers for agricultural and materials handling sector.

Orthodocs, Belfast - medical equipment.

Sepha, Belfast - medical packaging

Yardmaster, Draperstown – garden sheds