Ballymena based Moore Concrete Products Ltd, recently joined Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster in the Netherlands, to establish business links in Europe.
Moore Concrete, which supplies precast concrete products to the agricultural, civil and building industries, sought to use the Invest NI trade mission to carry out market research and gain rights to manufacture precast concrete products.
Arlene Foster said: “In this challenging economic climate, Northern Ireland businesses must combine their focus on day-to-day survival with their medium-to-longer term priorities.
“With the Netherlands being the fourth most important European market for Northern Ireland manufacturers, it is an attractive market for companies such as Moore Concrete Products Ltd.
“Our businesses must look outside of home and seek to increase new sales in export markets. They must place an even greater focus on increasing the value added to products and services and developing innovative sales and marketing techniques. Improvements in competitiveness and quality, combined with the opportunities offered by the sterling exchange rate, can also help companies beat the worst effects of the global slowdown.”
The Minister believes the trade mission, which took place from 2-5 February 2009, helped boost confidence among the participating companies.
She said: “Those companies that took part in the Netherlands trade mission returned to Northern Ireland with a clear message that there are significant business opportunities out there, despite the economic downturn.
“There is much past success to build on, as customers in The Netherlands purchased goods worth £145million in 2007/08; 10% of our total exports to markets in continental Europe.
“Now is the time for local companies to focus on innovation to succeed in international markets, emerging stronger and more competitive in the longer term.”