Six seek first exports to Netherlands

Six companies from Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone are seeking to win their first business in the Netherlands from an Invest Northern Ireland export development programme.

The companies are taking part next week in Invest NI’s ‘Going Dutch’ programme, which features extensive and highly practical support on-the-ground in the Netherlands that’s tailored to their specific needs.

The six participants have also taken part in a series of Invest NI organised preparatory briefings on market requirements and procedures as part of the ‘Going Dutch’ scheme.

They will take part in a comprehensive briefing on the Dutch market and procedures in Amsterdam before undertaking individual programmes of business meetings throughout the country. Each company will have around six meetings during the four-day visit.

Assistance in areas such as lead generation, and with setting up meetings with potential Dutch customers for each participating company, is being provided by Northern Ireland Trade Consultants in Amsterdam.

Upwards of 60 companies from most parts of Northern Ireland have taken part in the programme over the past two years and several have won significant business from new customers in the Netherlands.

Dr Vicky Kell, commenting on the programme, said: “Going Dutch is geared towards smaller companies in particular seeking to win their first export orders in a European marketplace.

“Over the years, the programme has proved successful for many companies because the Netherlands is an open market with a longstanding relationship with the UK and Republic of Ireland.

“The strong trading tradition in the Netherlands means companies there are also keen to explore business with new suppliers, especially smaller enterprises.

“Going Dutch has been used effectively by a number of companies across a range of sectors including technology and food processing over the past two years. Because of its focus on the requirements of individual companies and tailored support on-the-ground, the programme has become one of our most popular initiatives.”

The companies will also take part in follow-up sessions on their return to Northern Ireland. These will help them to harness business opportunities identified during the visit.