Tue 30th Jul 2013
Well Connected For Export Growth
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce (NICC) has renewed its commitment to assist local companies to grow and trade internationally with the appointment of a new Trade Development Manager. Richard Willis, who took up the post in July, will drive forward NICC’s new support initiative, Chamber Connections, which aims to give businesses the opportunity to tap into the worldwide Chamber network and to seek advice from experienced exporting professionals.
The new service will utilise local Chamber contacts in offering businesses the prospect to meet and learn from other Northern Ireland companies who are already exporting and who have become experts in their field, as well as connecting them to chamber contacts from across the globe, who are able to advise and assist with breaking in to, and operating in, international markets.
Commenting on his new role Richard said:
“It is vital that Northern Ireland firms take a global perspective when they are doing business. Exporting is central to the growth of the Northern Ireland economy – but it is not always an easy road to navigate.
The Chamber network is unique in that we have access to contacts in countries all over the world which means I am in a position to be able to assist companies make useful contacts in international markets and access the right advice so that their business can continue growing. Driving exports is a core element of NICC’s strategy and we offer a wide range of support programmes to underpin this focus.”
NICC chief executive Ann McGregor said of the new appointment:
“There has never been a better time to trade internationally and members are increasingly seeing the potential of growing their business overseas. Richard’s appointment underlines the commitment of NICC to helping local exporters achieve success abroad. The support he will be able to offer companies will help them build commercial relationships around the world.”
Chamber Connections is already seeing success and is being welcomed by Chamber members keen to become involved. Belfast drinks company CocoMojo, a manufacturer of a new innovative fresh coconut lifestyle drink, is one such business. With the product already generating interest in Sweden, Finland and the United States, Founder and Director, Tricia McNeilly was looking for advice on distribution. The Chamber connected CocoMojo with a contact in an industry specific distribution company, who was more than happy to help. Commenting on the support Tricia said
“The Chamber Connections service is just what a company like mine needs. A warm introduction to someone that can provide genuine advice makes all the difference. NICC has presented CocoMojo in a very positive light and has now paved the way for what could be a very constructive meeting which will help inform our distribution strategy.”