Firms planning to increase their sales outside of Northern Ireland are to be offered a series of incentives under a new plan announced by Economy Minister Simon Hamilton.
Launched at Stormont, the Trade Accelerator Plan is designed to give support to firms from large to SME level get into GB, RoI and other markets expand the number of companies trading with practical help such as: enhanced support for export market visits, travel and accommodation support for SMEs in GB and RoI and targeting of GB based buying groups such as the NHS, utilities, agri-foods and the hospitality sector.
Speaking at the launch at an “Opportunity Egypt” event hosted by Invest Northern Ireland and chaired by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Mr Hamilton said the province had firms across all sectors capable of competing anywhere in the world.
At the same time he said Brexit presented a new era with opportuinities to be seized.
“Figures released this week show that over the last 12 months, Northern Ireland was the only part of the United Kingdom to see an increase in exports,” he said.
“I want us to build on the success of this latest 9.5% rise in exports and help Northern Ireland to become an increasingly outward looking, trading region.”
Growing exports was critical to growing firms and in the process “transforming Northern Ireland into a globally competitive economy”.
“That’s why I have been working closely with Invest NI to develop a Trade Accelerator Plan that further boosts our export capabilities and perfectly places Northern Ireland for the years ahead.”
The ‘Opportunity Egypt’ event was the perfect example, he said, of how to look at new markets.
“ Having Sir Jeffrey Donaldson as the UK’s Trade Envoy to Egypt is excellent news for Northern Ireland business.
“I want us to look at existing markets and new ones as huge opportunities. We are already doing exceptionally well, but I believe we can do even better.”