Construction and building services companies are among a 27-strong delegation of local companies seeking business in Saudi Arabia on an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.
More than half of the 27 companies on the mission are engaged in the manufacture of engineering machinery for infrastructure projects; professional services including architectural consultancy; mechanical and electrical engineering and building security.
Included in this group is Mivan, the Antrim-based specialist in fast-track construction technology, which has already secured projects in the Gulf States of Dubai and Qatar, as well as a recent contract in Egypt.
As part of a strategic focus on assisting the local construction industry, Invest NI has developed close links with two of Saudi’s biggest companies, Saudi BinLaden and Eimaar.
Several Northern Ireland companies are quoting for substantial business from these companies and other contractors involved in huge projects, to develop the Kingdom’s infrastructure and urban areas.
Companies which have won business in Saudi through their participation in Invest NI trade missions include: Bubble (NI) of Belfast; Cunningham Covers, Maghera; Liddell Linens, Craigavon; Mallaghan Engineering, Dungannon; and SRS Finlay, Ballygawley.
The mission, the second organised by Invest NI to Saudi Arabia this year, will be based in Riyadh, the capital, and Jeddah, the Kingdom’s main port.
Dr Vicky Kell, commenting on the mission, said: “It’s immensely encouraging to see such a strong representation from the local construction industry and particularly from businesses providing professional services in architectural design, building engineering, lighting and security systems.
“Our focus on Saudi Arabia, and the networking opportunities that we’ve set up with major construction companies there, are clearly producing worthwhile benefits for local companies.
“Construction opportunities in Saudi Arabia are vast. Current infrastructure and public sector building programmes are valued at some $35 billion. They include plans to build roads, railways, airports as well as hundreds of new factories, a doubling of the desalination capacity, and an expansion of electrical generation and distribution. An additional $4 billion is being set aside to build 4,000 schools.
“Northern Ireland companies have the expertise and experience to gain a share of the business that is developing rapidly in a nation that continues to benefit from oil and gas revenues.”