Northern Ireland business group on Gulf mission

Senior executives of 13 Northern Ireland companies will be visiting Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in April to explore business opportunities including joint ventures and technology transfer.

The delegation which has been organised by Invest Northern Ireland will be in Kuwait City (12-14 April); Doha (15-17 April); and Dubai (18-21 April) for a series of meetings with existing and potential clients. The group is being assisted by Invest NI’s Technology and Development Centre in Dubai and by commercial staff at UK diplomatic posts in the three centres.

Among a broad range of industries represented in the delegation are companies from Northern Ireland’s successful screening, sand washing and recycling sector. Northern Ireland is a recognised global leader in the design and manufacture of machinery used in infrastructure operations such as materials screening and recycling.

The sector is represented by three major manufacturers McCloskey International, Terex Finlay and Muldoon Transport. In addition, AJ Power manufactures a range of portable diesel power systems used in activities such construction.

Many of the companies in the delegation are interested in making contacts that could enable them to handle opportunities they have identified in southern Iraq particularly around the Basra region.

The delegation is part of a longstanding programme of business activities organised by Invest NI in the Gulf region and co-ordinated by the agency’s staff based at Dubai Internet City. It follows an Invest NI mission last November to the key Saudi Arabian business centres of Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar.

Taking part in their first delegation to the Gulf are Aetopia, Cooneen Watts and Stone, McCloskey International, and Muldoon Transport. Two companies in the delegation, Fayrefield Foods International, and Rutledge Joblink, have offices in Dubai.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Director of Trade, commenting on the delegation, said: “The strength of Northern Ireland commitment to this important trading region is seen in this very broadly based mission, our policy of organising several trade missions annually to Gulf markets and our longstanding investment in the Northern Ireland Technology and Development Centre in Dubai.

“As a result of this commitment, our business throughout the region has grown rapidly and the Gulf is now one of our most important and successful global markets.”