Council leads major trade mission to the US

Jared Dubnow, director of business engagement at Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

ARMAGH City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council has embarked on one of its most ambitious export trade missions yet, with a delegation of 15 small and medium-sized companies having been to explore new exporting opportunities in north America.

Council representatives visited a range of organisations around Chicago and Washington to promote the wider borough and its growing international credentials in business, tourism, construction, creative industries, food and drink.

A senior civic delegation attended more than a dozen meetings, events and appointments led by Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson and the council's economic development and regeneration committee chair Joe Nelson as part of a four-day mission which focused on growing trade, investment and tourism opportunities and on highlighting the borough's economic priorities and development.

The companies taking part included White's Oats, Harnett Oils, Long Meadow Cider, SDG Construction, Evron Foods and artisan baker New Found Joy.

Alderman Wilson said: “As well as economic ties, we have long and established cultural and historic links with the United States.

“Building and establishing existing relationships and seeking new partnerships was very much part of this valuable opportunity to engage our partners directly and by highlighting our commitment to business, innovation, trade and our strategic position as a gateway for growth.”

The ABC Council 'Go West' export programme was supported by key partners Invest NI in Chicago and by the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, both of which assisted in facilitating the trade and civic mission and in cultivating and strengthening links and ties in North America.

It follows last year's successful ‘Go East' trade mission to India and the Council's ‘Export to GB' programme, which between them is already helping more than 30 local companies develop new trade opportunities.

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