A world of new business opportunities unveiled

Local companies are being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to exploit growth opportunities developing in dynamic markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Over 80 activities in global markets have been lined up by Invest NI for companies in the latest Overseas Events Programme for the period to end of March 2014.

The trade programme is among the biggest-ever organised by Invest NI to help companies increase exports and covers all business sectors here. The calendar of events features: -

  • 17 activities for food and drink companies including participation on Invest NI Northern Ireland Naturally stands at major exhibitions such as ANUGA, the world’s biggest food show this year in Germany; Gulfood in Dubai; PLMA Private Label in Amsterdam, the International Food Exhibition in London; Boston Seafood Show; Snack and Sandwich Show in Paris; and Food Hotel China in Shanghai.

  • 15 targeted at the Information and Communication Technologies such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; Games Developers Conference in San Francisco; Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, San Francisco; Microsoft Partners Conference, Houston; and Gitex Technology Week, Dubai.

  • Eight for renewable energy companies including the Renewables UK Wave and Tidal Conference, London; All-Energy, Aberdeen; the International Tidal Conference, London; OWIB in Esjberg, Denmark.

  • Seven for life sciences and biotechnology including Hospitalar, Sao Paulo, Brazil; NHS Expo, London; Connected Health, Boston; Arab Health, Dubai; and Bio in China

  • Four for materials handling including Bauma, Munich, Bauma Africa in Johannesburg; and Con-Expo in Las Vegas.

  • Three for construction including BuildNZ/Designex in Auckland and BATIMAT in Paris.

  • Two for aerospace – Air Shows at Dubai and Paris.

  • 20 multi-sectoral trade missions to markets such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, India, South Africa, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Kurdistan.

Other sectors targeted by Invest NI for opportunities abroad include security, financial services, interior fit-out and design and cruise interiors.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: “This is certainly a very extensive and comprehensive business development programme organised by Invest NI, offering companies greater opportunities than ever before to grow worthwhile business abroad.

“In addition, we’ve set up a global network of Invest NI offices and trade development consultants offering companies, both large and small and across virtually every business sector, expert advice and practical support on-the-ground.

“Our specialist trade teams in Northern Ireland and abroad help businesses to access new customers and to compete successfully in export markets by developing effective export strategies. The opportunities for local companies to grow business faster abroad are extensive.

In addition to our extensive overseas programme, we also have a suite of initiatives designed to assist companies break into the Dutch, Canadian and South African markets.  Details of these support mechanisms are available from Invest NI.”

Companies which have benefited significantly from taking part in previous Invest NI export programmes include CIGA Healthcare in Ballymena, Texthelp in Antrim and IBC Trading, Bangor.

Christian Berglund, CIGA’s International Sales Manager, said: “Invest NI helped us to establish a relationship with a distribution partner in Saudi Arabia which subsequently led to significant business there.”

Texthelp Chief Technical Officer said the company had been assisted by Invest NI to develop its knowledge of the Brazilian market. “We’ve invested quite a bit of time in developing our knowledge of the market there and in making contacts, a process assisted by Invest NI trade missions. In fact, we’ve now visited Brazil five times in the past year and have identified companies there to help us penetrate what is a huge marketplace.”

IBC’s Iain Wilson said: “Invest NI missions and other practical support from the Trade team have been immensely important to our business over many years. I probably wouldn’t have won business in China if I hadn’t participated in an Invest NI mission to this market."