Jobs agency Invest Nothern Ireland is to increase its international presence with a new office in Toronto to support local firms seeking to grow exports to Canada.
The announcement comes as Invest chief executive Alastair Hamilton completed a five day visit programme to North America, including New York and Boston, meeting potential new investors.
“As part of the International Trade Plan, Invest NI is expanding its overseas network in up to 10 new locations around the world,” Mr Hamilton said.
“Our commitment to appoint a regional manager in Canada is the next in this series of expansions.
“The new role will be based in the British Embassy in Toronto and will provide advice to Northern Ireland companies to help them grow exports in Canada.”
As well as building a strong network of stakeholders and influencers to benefit trade development, he said the role would also involve identifying potential investors.
“The regional manager will support indigenous businesses in key sectors including Advanced Manufacturing, Digital & Creative Technologies and Agri Food, as well as targeting new investment opportunities in areas such as cyber security, precision medicine and Big Data / Internet of Things,” he said.
Invest NI has already announced new offices in Chile, Singapore and Doha.
“Canada is a key target market for ambitious Northern Ireland companies.
“ The latest HMRC figures for January to December 2016, show that our local exporters sold approximately £2.1billion in goods to the Americas, with Canada accounting for £311m of this, largely through machinery, transport and equipment exports.
“Building on this is essential in the drive to grow our economy and our new regional manager will provide the additional guidance and knowledge needed to help businesses succeed here,” Mr Hamilton said.