Trade Mission to the Benelux

25 - 29 September 2017


Seven companies from Northern Ireland will be taking part in our trade mission to the Benelux where they will be showcasing their products to the markets.

This multi sector trade mission based in Amsterdam and Antwerp will present NI Companies with the opportunity to expand into a new market, grow existing business relationships and support customers. View the companies attending below.

Applications have closed.

We will update this page shortly with details of the companies attending.

About the Market

The Benelux is a highly developed and densely populated region incorporating three countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg with over 28 million inhabitants), at the heart of Europe.

The Netherlands is the most populous of the three countries, with almost 17 million inhabitants, followed by Belgium with 11 million of which the majority is based in the Dutch speaking region of Flanders. Luxembourg has a population of 576,249.

The Benelux is a key market for NI exporters, including those new to European export with high consumer spend, excellent infrastructure, compact logistics and direct flights.

The Benelux enjoys historically strong trade relations with the UK, in particular Northern Ireland and English is widely spoken as a business language. The region is in close connection with the other European countries, with access to a market of almost 80 million within 300km, making it an ideal strategic Gateway into continental Europe.

Despite being a hub for EMEA Headquarters of multinational corporations the vast majority of companies (98%) are SMEs by definition who value Northern Ireland quality, reliability, flexibility, and no-nonsense business mentality.

Benelux benefits:

  • Gateway into Europe
  • No.1 European export region by capita
  • Excellent infrastructure
  • Ease of communication
  • Excellent logistics, including direct flight access
  • Effective ‘test’ or ‘1st timer’ region for Europe
  • Open-minded business mentality
  • Many successful Northern Ireland SME exporters ‘began’ in the Benelux
Read more

The Benelux and Northern Ireland share many key and common sectors:

  • Building materials
  • Software & IT
  • Agricultural Machinery
  • Automotive
  • Plastics and Composites
  • Food and Beverage
  • Materials Handling
  • OEM Engineering & subcontracting
  • Textiles and Fashions
  • Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Technology
  • Security and Safety
  • Tradeable Services
Read more

Companies from Northern Ireland already export around £215 million of goods and services to the Benelux and the Invest NI 2017 Trade Mission represents an excellent opportunity for companies wanting to develop business in this region.

Trade Advisory Service

Working with our Trade Advisers in-market, we can provide market research and provide participants with planned meetings to introduce their products and services to key players in the markets. The cost of this service is heavily subsidised by Invest NI and would be £700 +VAT.

In addition, our trade advisor for the region will be in Belfast on the 14-15 June, should you wish to arrange a 1:1 meeting. Please contact Sandra Kelly, on 028 9069 8045, or by email at to confirm your interest.

Benefits of Participation

  • Opportunity to access a new export market in Europe
  • Advice and support on Doing Business in Benelux by a country expert
  • In-market support through the in-market trade advisers in Benelux
  • Direct insights into local market opportunities and conditions
  • Up to 50% contribution towards an economy airfare (up to a maximum of £150) *
  • Up to £75 per night towards accommodation – maximum 5 nights *

* Contribution towards airfares and accommodation is for one participant per company only

Please Note - De Minimis Statement

Companies who have exceeded their De Minimis aid limit will be unable to claim assistance towards travel, accommodation and in-market support for this mission. The maximum De Minimis aid any single recipient can receive is €200,000 (cash grant equivalent) over a 3 year fiscal period.

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Upcoming export trade events

Our export events include international trade missions, shows and exhibitions specifically designed to help you break into new export markets faster.