Thu 3rd Apr 2014
Putting Export First
NI Chamber and Danske Bank begin third phase of successful business support initiative
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), in partnership with Danske Bank, brought together over 60 companies from across Northern Ireland earlier today (3 April) for the latest event as part of business support programme Danske Bank Export First.
Today’s event marked the start of the third-phase of the programme which was originally launched in 2011. Joined by Arlene Foster, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment, local businesses gathered in Craigavon to hear the success story of Ulster Carpets, who currently hold the esteemed title of UK Exporter of the Year.
Danske Bank Export First is a dynamic and unique initiative by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry which equips local businesses with the knowledge and confidence to break into new markets for the first time or take their export activity to the next level.
Commenting on the third phase of the Danske Bank Export First programme, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of NI Chamber, said:
“We were delighted that the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment was able to join us today at Ulster Carpets for the latest event as part of the Danske Bank Export First programme.
“Over the next year Danske Bank Export First will continue to provide support to potential exporters; increase awareness amongst SMEs of existing export schemes; and provide assistance to firms seeking new market opportunities by linking them to individuals who have experience in addressing many of the issues and queries encountered by first time exporters.”
Katherine James, Head of Small Business at Danske Bank, said:
“There is a wealth of growth opportunities outside of Northern Ireland for indigenous companies, but exporting can often seem like a daunting process. This is why the Danske Bank Export First programme is so important, putting first time and potential exporters in direct contact with businesses who have ‘been there, done that’.
“At Danske Bank we are working with customers every day to help them achieve their full potential at home and internationally. Our strong support for exporters combines the expertise of our highly experienced export specialists with the market-leading online technology for which the Danske Bank Group is renowned. We are confident that our ongoing programme with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry will lead to more and more local businesses taking the leap into the export market throughout 2014 and beyond.”
Speaking at the event, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, said:
“My department and Invest Northern Ireland are fully committed to supporting local companies as they seek contracts in international markets. By focusing on and winning export business, Ulster Carpets has become a global brand synonymous with high quality craftsmanship.
“Ulster Carpets has made extensive and effective use of Invest Northern Ireland trade missions to develop contacts and the company is an excellent example of how working in partnership can lead to significant success in key export markets.”
The event saw the Minister openly engage with attendees on pertinent economic issues with Nick Coburn, Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, sharing the company’s inspiring story of international growth. A tour of the Ulster Carpet facilities was also provided as part of the event.
Employing 500 people, Ulster Carpets is a world leader in the manufacture and export of high-quality carpets for sale to the world’s most prestigious hotels, casinos and cruise liners, as well as the export of commercial and domestic carpeting.