Foster encourages local firms to seize opportunities in emerging Middle East markets

Feb 05, 2013

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured at Titanic Belfast with His Excellency Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The President led a Kurdish delegation on a two-day trade and investment visit to Northern Ireland, which was organised by Invest NI.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has encouraged local companies to seize export opportunities in emerging areas of the Middle East.

The Minister was speaking as she welcomed His Excellency Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to Northern Ireland, on a two day trade and investment visit organised by Invest NI.

Arlene Foster said: “This visit by the Kurdish delegation provides a major opportunity for us to showcase the wealth of skills, products and services that Northern Ireland businesses can offer global markets.

“Over the past two years, I have been working with Invest Northern Ireland to strengthen our relationships with key influencers in the region. Having led Invest NI’s first trade mission to Kurdistan in 2011, and after visiting there again last year, I welcome the opportunity to let His Excellency Masoud Barzani and his colleagues see for themselves what Northern Ireland has to offer.

“A number of local companies have already secured business in the wider Middle East region and Kurdistan is a growing part of this market, which offers significant opportunities, particularly in oil and gas, construction, professional services, education and agriculture.

“Last year, I opened Invest NI’s office in Erbil and we will continue to work closely with contacts there, as well as our local business base, to help firms access the market and bid for contracts. ”

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