26/11/2002

Northern Ireland trade delegation visit China

As part of its commitment to support local business in developing markets overseas, Invest Northern Ireland has sponsored a 28-strong trade mission to China.

Led by Victor Haslett, President of the NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the 10-day trade mission, which began on November 24 and will run until December 4, will allow participating companies to explore opportunities for trade, technology transfer and new business alliances.

The companies represent a wide range of sectors including manufacturers of traditional products such as linen and woollens, together with companies that are at the forefront of technological innovation in the medical, environmental and data-communications fields.

Victor Haslett said he was delighted to lead the mission to such an important market: "This is an excellent example of how Invest Northern Ireland can give practical and meaningful support to indigenous business. Some of the companies taking part on the mission are already doing business in China and are keen to cultivate their contacts and to explore prospects for future business co-operation such as joint ventures. Others are using the mission to carry out market research and identify trade opportunities."

The mission, which takes the form of business meetings and networking events, offers delegates the opportunity to meet existing and potential customers in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.

Alan Hingston, Director of Trade in Invest NI, said: “China is a major world market with over 1.3 billion consumers and offers tremendous opportunities to businesses in a wide range of sectors. Northern Ireland businesses are keen to tap into this potential and to develop links with Chinese companies that will produce mutual benefits.

“The number of companies which have signed up for this mission is indicative of the high level of interest in this market. There is a good fit between what Northern Ireland companies can offer and key sectors in China such as telecoms, food processing, environmental and pollution control, healthcare and consumer goods."

Mr Hingston said that he was confident the trade mission would serve to strengthen and build on the trade links that had already been established in previous trade missions to China.

(SP)

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