United States market ‘rich in opportunities’ - Invest CEO

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton with Michael Howells, British Consul General in Los Angeles at the opening of the Invest NI office there
Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton with Michael Howells, British Consul General in Los Angeles at the opening of the Invest NI office there

Invest Northern Ireland is increasing its investment in resources across the Atlantic reflecting the USA’s position as one of the province’s strongest markets for exports CEO Alastair Hamilton has claimed.

The agency is opening a new office in Los Angeles as part of its growing international network.

Speaking whilst on a trade and investment programme in the US, Mr Hamilton said: “Over the past two years, exports from Northern Ireland to the US have grown by 16% to £1.5 billion.

“Companies such as Belfast based Clinical Research firm Fusion Antibodies, are experiencing significant exporting success in this market. The company benefitted from a range of Invest NI trade support in 2017 which has resulted in two new contracts in the US, estimated to be worth £350,000 collectively.

“These new contracts will see it provide its drug discovery and development service to major players in the US pharma market, including one of the US’s top five pharma companies and a major world renowned medical research institute.”

Fusion’s DNA sequencing technology can assist in the development of novel biological molecules that may be used as innovative drugs for human diseases including cancer, coeliac disease, chronic fungal infections and immunological indications.

“Encouraging and facilitating many more local companies to follow in the footsteps of Fusion Antibodies is key to the growth of our economy,” said Mr Hamilton.

“To build on successes like this we are strengthening our US resources and I am delighted to be here to open our new office in Los Angeles.

“We already have a strong West Coast team based in San Francisco and have had great success in supporting companies win export deals with initiatives like our US Tech Mission.

“I will be joining 15 companies at South by Southwest to meet with local influencers and potential new investors to explore ways to help strengthen trade and investment relationships with Northern Ireland.” he added.