Four of the 11 companies on the forthcoming Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to Taiwan and South Korea are visiting these important Asian markets for the first time.
The newcomers are Bridgedale Outdoor, Newtownards; Hackett Hall McKnight, Belfast; North West Academy of English, Londonderry; and Truck Dismantlers (NI), Benburb.
The companies are taking part in the mission to the two main business centres of Taipei and Seoul from 4-11 September. They have benefited from information and lead generation in Taiwan by Invest NI’s marketing expert in Shanghai, and in South Korea by commercial staff at the British Embassy in Seoul.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, commenting on the mission, said: “We’ve helped a number of local companies to develop business in these markets particularly South Korea.
“Among the benefits for our companies there is a wealthy population that is prepared to pay a premium for quality goods from the UK. In addition, the economy there is continuing to show significant growth, certainly well ahead of European averages.
“For instance, growth in 2010 is projected to reach five per cent, making it the 4th largest economy in Asia and the 14th globally. With the introduction of the EU/South Korea Free Trade Agreement and a focus on UK products and services, South Korea is becoming an important market with many and varied opportunities.
“Taiwan is another Asian market that has particularly close links with the United Kingdom and has sourced goods worth £750 million from UK suppliers. It’s an immensely important marketplace especially for technology products and services and can be a springboard for expansion into the much bigger Chinese market.”
The mission is Invest NI’s third to Asian markets this year. Previous missions have enabled companies to explore business in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Chinese business centres of Beijing and Chongging. Further missions are scheduled for China and Hong Kong (Nov/Dec) and Malaysia and Vietnam (February 2011).
Most of the companies have also been assisted with market data and other essential information, by staff at Invest NI’s Business Information Centre in Belfast.