US Government Contracts Beckon for Northern Ireland Companies

Invest Northern Ireland and the Greater Washington Initiative (GWI) will co-host a workshop in Belfast on Tuesday, 25th January, to help Northern Ireland companies better understand how they can break into US Government business, a $300 billion annual market for products and services.

GWI is the economic development arm for the Washington, DC, region, which has a population of 6.1 million and is the fourth largest economic region in the United States.

Taking part in the workshop will be top officials from the General Services Administration (GSA), which manages US Government procurement of a wide range of products and services, notably within the defence, homeland security, technology and ICT sectors. 

Speakerswill include senior officials from Invest NI, the British Embassy in Washington,and GWI.

There will also be a presentation on legal issues facing Northern Ireland firms doing business in the US by a senior attorney from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, a global law firm with offices in the UK and Washington, DC Aronson & Company, a Washington area accounting firm which specialises in helping UK companies do business in the US, will discuss financial and accounting issues. 

Finally,there will be a presentation by Meridio, a Belfast software company that is already doing business with the US Government.

Northern Ireland companies expected to attend the workshop represent the aerospace;bioscience; bio-infomatics; defence; e-learning; network and internet security;new media; photonics; satellite communications; systems integration telecommunications, and wireless industries.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s director of Trade, says: “The workshop will provide Northern Ireland companies with a comprehensive understanding of the US Government’s procurement process. They will have an opportunity to discuss, in depth and in confidence, specific business opportunities with specialists from the US.

“This is the first in a series of events that we are planning to enable our companies to access business with the US Government. Other initiatives include a trade visit for local companies to FOSE in Washington, the most important sourcing event for US government bodies. GWI and the British Embassy will work with us to assist more companies access this business,” adds Mr Hingston.

Stephen Johnson, GWIs director of European Operations, says: “Following 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Iraq, there have been huge increases in US public spending, particularly on homeland security and defence. The US Government has a long-term commitment to more private sector contracting and at the same time has simplified its procurement process to make it easier for companies, including British companies, to compete to provide goods and services to Government agencies.”