Invest NI opens new office in Milan

Alex Mason, Invest NI's new regional trade manager for Italy
Alex Mason, Invest NI's new regional trade manager for Italy

INVEST NI has gone 'Invest I' after expanding into Italy, part of a wider reach by the agency into global locations.

It has just opened an office based in the British Consulate in Milan.

It will be led by new regional trade manager Alex Mason and has been made possible via New Deal for Northern Ireland funding from the NI Office.

Steve Harper, Invest NI’s executive director of international business, speaking in Milan, said: “Our new presence here will support the growth of our economy by attracting new foreign direct investment and assisting Northern Ireland companies to access opportunities in the Italian market and ultimately grow their exports here.

“The Windsor Framework gives Northern Ireland a unique position as the only region with access to both the UK home market and the EU single market.

“This market access for goods to the EU single market makes it easier for Italian companies to buy goods from Northern Ireland, therefore providing us with significant opportunities to develop and increase our exports to the EU.”

To mark the expansion, Invest NI is hosting a trade mission in Milan with eight of the north’s leading distilleries.

The NI Spirits showcase event is allowing the firms to showcase their products including whiskey, rum, gin and poitín to Italian buyers and distributors.

Steve added: “I'm immensely proud of the world-class capabilities Northern Ireland already offers the world. I am confident there are opportunities here for local companies, and my visit this week is to strengthen and build relationships to support companies, like the eight we have in the market today, to do business here.

“Alex Mason is already providing the right advice and guidance to these companies which we hope will lead to Italian success, and as well as building a strong network of stakeholders and partners to benefit trade development, he will also work to identify potential investors in the region.”