More than 20 local companies are aiming to boost sales in the Middle East by taking part in two Invest Northern Ireland organised events in the region over the next two weeks. Eleven companies are taking part in a trade mission to Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai from 14-22 November and a similar number will be visiting Big 5, the biggest construction industry exhibition in the Middle East and South East Asia, which takes place in Dubai from 16-20 November.
The visits are being co-ordinated by Invest NI’s Technology and Development Centre (NITDC) in Dubai, the main business and financial centre in the United Arab Emirates.
Leading the trade mission is Michael Craig, the NITDC Director. Four of the companies in the delegation – Fayrefield Foods, Mivan, MWM Sports Management and Rutledge Joblink - have offices in the Gulf, including three which are based at NITDC (Fayrefield Foods; MWM Sports; and Rutledge Joblink). Another company with an office at NITDC, Land Survey Services of Gilford, will also be visiting Big 5.
Mr Craig, commenting on the trade mission and the Big 5 exhibition, says: “The two groups are broadly representative and reflect the extent of expertise and quality products from Northern Ireland. Many of the companies are already established in the Gulf and are keen to develop existing business and to explore opportunities developing in growth sectors such as construction, tourism and leisure.
“While the Gulf continues to be popular with Northern Ireland manufacturers, companies offering expert services, such as construction, recruitment, training, media and software, are increasingly looking towards the region for business, Northern Ireland has significant expertise in all these areas.
“Companies in the construction sector will have an opportunity to make contacts at Big 5 that will enable them to take advantage of the vast range of high budget projects now underway in the industrial, commercial, tourism and residential sectors in Dubai.
“As well as trade, companies will also be able to explore other business relationships such as joint ventures and technology transfer,” he adds.
Visiting the Gulf for the first time on an Invest NI trade mission are 8Over8, a developer of software for the oil, gas and utilities industries; Toughglass, a manufacturer of strengthened and curved glass; and Windell, a specialist in blast proof windows. Most of the companies attending Big 5 are also new to the Gulf.