Surge in demand for export support services from Northern Ireland businesses

International Business Support services at NI Chamber are delivered by Catriona Henry, Dawn Robertson, Tanya Anderson and Lynsey Foster

A SPECIALIST international division set up earlier this year by the NI Chamber of Commerce has so far assisted more than 500 companies in the north in their export journey.

It has emerged that the Chamber has trained 160 people in customs declarations procedures to help them better understand border requirements and the possible implications of a post-Brexit environment.

And another 100 individuals have been assisted in becoming familiar with the 2020 version Incoterms are a set of rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts.

As well as being a designated authority for the issue of certified export documents, the organisation provides technical training on other topics ranging from letters of credit to certificates of origin.

Tanya Anderson, head of international and business support at NI Chamber, said that while Brexit is a factor, a growing level of aspiration is also driving the demand for export support here.

She said: “This year has seen a significant increase in demand for our services as local businesses look towards international markets with greater confidence that their goods and services can compete successfully across the world.”

The Chamber's international division has become central to supporting the execution of members' export aspirations.

Tanya adds: “In addition to training, in partnership with international champions A&L Goodbody, Grant Thornton and Queen's University, we're delivering workshops on specific export territories and offering exporters the opportunity to share experiences through collaborative forums and peer-to-peer learning.

“Maintaining a competitive edge in the global marketplace is a challenge in any circumstance, none more so than now for local businesses, but there is still much scope for optimism.

“Companies here are producing quality, innovative goods and services which are on-par with the very best in the world – and by accessing appropriate support they can dramatically improve their chances of taking a share of the global market.”

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