Surge in demand for export support

International business support services at NI Chamber are delivered by Catriona Henry, Dawn Robertson, Tanya Anderson and Lynsey Foster.
International business support services at NI Chamber are delivered by Catriona Henry, Dawn Robertson, Tanya Anderson and Lynsey Foster.
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Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reported an uplift in demand for export services.

Through its International Division, NI Chamber has assisted over 500 local companies this year.

As well as being a designated authority for the issue of certified export documents, the business support organisation provides technical training on topics ranging from Letters of Credit, to Certificates of Origin, as well as covering prevailing issues such as Customs Declarations and Incoterms 2020.

Tanya Anderson, head of international and business support at NI Chamber, said that whilst Brexit is a factor, a “growing level of aspiration” is also driving the demand for export support.

“NI Chamber has a long-held track record of helping established and early exporters to grow globally. However 2019 has seen a notable increase in demand for these services, as NI businesses are looking towards international markets with greater confidence that their goods and services can compete successfully across the world.

“We have witnessed a growing number of companies wanting to up-skill their own teams and make staff as agile as possible as they seek to scale. Responding to this, NI Chamber has trained almost 160 people in customs declarations procedures this year, to help them better understand the customs requirements and the possible implications of a post Brexit environment.

“We are also helping companies prepare for new Incoterms, which come in to effect in 2020. Incoterms are ‘International Commercial Terms’ which provide a standard set of definitions used in International Trade.

“Given that these are the cornerstone of trading internationally, we seek to ensure that local exporters are familiar with the 2020 version before they go live and we’re already helping over 100 individuals to do so.

“Maintaining a competitive edge in the global marketplace is a challenge in any circumstance, none more so than now for businesses, but there is still much scope for optimism.”