Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Iain Wilson, Managing Director of IBC Trading Ltd making the announcement that the company has won around £400,000 of new business in Brazil. Based in Dundonald Enterprise Park, the company has secured a contract to supply classical, acoustic and electric guitars to Giannini in Brazil.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has concluded a week-long business mission to Brazil with the announcement of a contract for Belfast-based IBC Trading Ltd.
During the Invest Northern Ireland Trade Mission to China last November, IBC Trading Ltd began discussions with a company called Giannini, who make traditional fine musical instruments. After engaging in a sampling process, IBC Trading Ltd secured a £400,000 contract this week, to supply classical, acoustic and electric guitars to Giannini in Brazil.
Welcoming the contract, Arlene Foster said: “I want to congratulate IBC Trading Ltd on their success in winning this significant contract. Their achievement shows the importance of local companies seizing the opportunities that are available in new and developing markets.
“It is immensely encouraging news for locally-owned companies who are working to build relationships and break into overseas markets. Often it is a slow and difficult process, however contracts such as this show that companies can achieve growth by diversifying markets and forming strategic partnerships.”
Speaking from Brazil, Ian Wilson, Managing Director of IBC Trading Ltd said: “Today’s announcement owes much to our participation on last year’s trade mission to China when we met with representatives from Giannini. We were able to use the trade mission successfully in terms of developing partnerships and helping us to identify suitable suppliers.”
IBC Trading Ltd was one of 14 Northern Ireland companies participating on the Invest NI Trade Mission to Brazil.
During the week, Arlene Foster also had the opportunity to promote Northern Ireland tourism to trade and travel media at a Tourism Ireland-hosted business briefing.
The Minister said: “There was a strong interest in Northern Ireland from local media and during my time in Sao Paulo I had the opportunity to meet with ten journalists. They were extremely keen to hear what Northern Ireland can offer the Brazilian tourist in terms of heritage, culture, scenery, shopping and sporting activities such as surfing and golf.
“In particular, there was a lot of discussion around Game of Thrones and Titanic Belfast. In its first year of operation, over 1,200 Brazilians visited Titanic Belfast and we look forward to growing these numbers significantly in years to come.”
In order to build on the links and relationships that were developed in March when the First Minister and deputy First Minister visited Brazil, Arlene Foster also met with the Federation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo (FIESP) and Marfrig. The Minister met with Marcos Molina, Chief Executive of Marfrig and Sergio Rial, Chief Executive of Seara Foods, to discuss with them the importance of their investment in Moy Park in Northern Ireland and to reaffirm the Executive’s ongoing commitment to the further development of the agri-food industry here.
Arlene Foster concluded: “FIESP is the federation of Brazilian industry and it represents around 130,000 industries in various sectors. I had a very interesting discussion with Antonio Fernando Guimaraes Bessa, Deputy Director General of FIESP and Thomas Zanotto, Vice-President of the Superior Council of Foreign Trade around potential areas of opportunities for Northern Ireland companies.
“Sao Paulo is the largest city in the southern hemisphere with over 19 million people living in the wider metropolitan area. I believe there are opportunities to be exploited particularly in regards to health and life sciences, water treatment, recycling and the wider materials handling sector.
“I want to ensure our companies are given the support that they need to seize opportunities and establish international trade and business partnerships. For this reason, our trade missions and our presence at international exhibitions such as Hospitalar, are critically important to opening new doors, developing relationships and gaining vital information that allows local companies to successfully compete for business around the world.”