Northern Ireland at construction expo in Brazil

Eight local companies are taking part with Invest Northern Ireland at the M&T Expo 2009, the Mining and Construction Equipment Trade Fair, in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 2-6 June.

The visit, the first by a Northern Ireland group to South America’s biggest equipment exhibition, is a further example of Invest NI’s support for local construction and quarrying machinery companies.

The trade fair, now in its seventh year, features over 350 exhibitors from 25 countries and around 45,000 machinery buyers from South America and other parts of the world. Major equipment buyers are expected from Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, commenting on the visit, said: “Our market research shows that there are significant and growing opportunities in Brazil, now one of the most important global markets, for construction and quarrying equipment.

“The sector is projected to grow by almost eight per cent annually to 2012. In 2007, machinery sales topped US$10 billion. Experts predict that almost 74,000 machines will be sold in 2010.

“Business links exist between Brazil, other South American markets particularly Peru, and Northern Ireland. Local engineering companies such as Powerscreen International of Dungannon and Omagh’s Terex Finlay, have already provided machinery to customers in South America over a number of years.

“Brazil is one of a number of markets that we’ve been evaluating as part of our focus on assisting the local construction industry to surmount problems from the downturn in business in the UK, Ireland and Europe. These problems resulted in a decision to cancel this year’s big European construction and quarrying show at Hillhead in Derbyshire. This cancellation influenced our decision to offer companies that would have been likely to go to Hillhead another opportunity in Brazil.

“Over the past year, we’ve also encouraged several companies to develop business in India and have also helped others to build business relationships with major construction groups in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Arabian Gulf,” added Dr Kell.

The exhibition is organised and promoted jointly by the Brazilian Association for Technology in Equipment and Maintenance and Alcantara Machado.