Chamber & Invest NI create new international partnership to attract foreign trade

Launching the initiative are (from left) Steve Harper (executive director international business at Invest NI), Ann McGregor (chief executive of NI Chamber) and John Healy (president of NI Chamber). Photo: Matt Mackey/Press Eye

THE Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce & Industry and economic development agency Invest NI have created a new international partnership to help build the profile of Northern Ireland in global markets.

The International Relations Partnership will see the two organisations using their combined resources around the world to support local companies to develop export opportunities in global markets, and showcase the north as a destination for foreign direct investment, further education and tourism.

NI Chamber chief executive Ann McGregor said: “As members of the International Chamber of Commerce, we have access to worldwide connections that could be of benefit to exporters seeking to grow their sales outside Northern Ireland.

"At the same time Invest NI has international offices all over the world and a sales team with a vast amount of knowledge about the local market.

“This united approach will promote awareness of Northern Ireland companies and inward investment opportunities across the world.”

Steve Harper, executive director of international business at Invest NI, said: “This partnership will provide an opportunity for us to combine our strengths and networks around the world to help local firms make worldwide connections and support the growth of Northern Ireland exports.

“We will also be able to work together to enhance the profile of Northern Ireland and jointly showcase what we can offer investors, international students and tourists."

He added: “There is a large network of Northern Ireland diaspora right across the globe and we believe that by combining our efforts we can reach more of these people and educate them about what is happening in their home country, further growing the number of people able to advocate about what Northern Ireland has to offer.”

One element of the partnership will feature a Northern Ireland bid to host the World Chamber Congress, the only international forum for chamber leaders and professionals to share best-practices, exchange insights, develop networks, address the latest business issues affecting their communities and learn about new areas of innovation from chambers around the world.

Ms McGregor added: “We also look forward to working with Invest NI and other key stakeholder to launch a Northern Ireland bid to host the 2023 World Chambers Congress.

"This will promote Northern Ireland as a potential host and business destination to the 12,000 strong global network of member chambers via the World Chamber Congress bidding process, and if successful it would bring an estimated economic value £1.92 million to Northern Ireland.”

Held every two years in a different region, the Congress provides unparalleled opportunities to connect and strengthen relations with a diverse and international group of individuals representing more than 100 countries.

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