Invest NI strengthens presence in Qatar as World Cup looms
JOBS agency Invest NI is to increase its presence in the Middle East by appointing a new regional manager who'll be based at the British Embassy in Doha, capital city of Qatar, which is building up its infrastructure ahead of the 2022 football World Cup.
It comes as the body's chief executive Alastair Hamilton visited the country to meet the UK ambassador to Qatar Mr Ajay Sharma, and the Department for International Trade team.
Last year Northern Ireland companies directly exported goods to the value of almost £29 million to Qatar, with machinery and transport equipment accounting for about half of this
Among the companies already successfully exporting to Qatar are Mallaghan Engineering in Dungannon, Armstrong Medical in Coleraine, CDE from Cookstown and Ulster Carpets in Portadown.
Mr Hamilton said: “This post in Qatar will strengthen the support we already offer in the region through our offices in Dubai and Jeddah.
"The new regional manager will have a specific focus on Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iran where we see real potential for Northern Ireland companies to grow their exports."
He added: “Northern Ireland has developed a global reputation in sectors such as engineering and manufacturing, life and health sciences, plus food and drink.
"And we believe there will be significant future export opportunities given the large-scale construction projects planned in the region, including the Qatar World Cup in 2022.”
To further develop strong links with the region, Invest NI is assisting a number of Northern Ireland companies to attend the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum taking place in Birmingham on March 28.