Local firms go Dutch as they explore new markets

Alison Gowdy, Director of Trade, InvestNI; Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee; Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE; Sir Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador to the Netherlands and Dr Theresa Donaldson, L&CCC Chief Executive.
Alison Gowdy, Director of Trade, InvestNI; Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee; Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE; Sir Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador to the Netherlands and Dr Theresa Donaldson, L&CCC Chief Executive.

Representatives of 11 local companies travelled to Amsterdam recently with elected members and officers from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council to explore potential new export markets.

The trip to the Netherlands - part of a council-funded trade programme - saw delegates attend the 11th NI-NL Export & Trade Export Society Trade Dinner in Amsterdam where they got the opportunity to meet potential business partners and make new business contacts in the Dutch market.

Back row (l-r): David Johnston, Managing Director of Gardencare; Steve Murnaghan, NITC Managing Director; Terry Simpson, VOJO-Media managing Director; Rick Johnson, Jumping Jack Marketing Manager. Front row (l-r): Dr Theresa Donaldson, L&CCC Chief Executive; Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee; Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Hans de Cler, CEO of IDS Media International.

Back row (l-r): David Johnston, Managing Director of Gardencare; Steve Murnaghan, NITC Managing Director; Terry Simpson, VOJO-Media managing Director; Rick Johnson, Jumping Jack Marketing Manager. Front row (l-r): Dr Theresa Donaldson, L&CCC Chief Executive; Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee; Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Hans de Cler, CEO of IDS Media International.

Speaking at the dinner, Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE said: “Sustained growth in exports is critical to the success of the local Lisburn Castlereagh economy, and I’m pleased to say that business links with the Netherlands have never been stronger. I was also greatly honoured to welcome the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir Geoffrey Adams, to the NI-NL trade dinner, demonstrating the value which is placed at the highest levels of government on the delivery of international trade initiatives such as NI-NL.”

Describing Lisburn and Castlereagh as “an entrepreneurial city”, Cllr Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, added: “I can proudly say we are leading the way for local government as we are the only council from Northern Ireland to proactively fund and support trade links for our local businesses into the Netherlands and the wider European marketplace at this time.”

Praising the local business representatives who took part in the trade mission, council Chief Executive Dr Theresa Donaldson said: “These companies are great ambassadors for the city of Lisburn & Castlereagh, not only helping to demonstrate the quality of products and services produced locally, but sending out a clear message that despite these uncertain times, the council area is open and ready for business.”

Council-led trade missions to the Netherlands have to date generated several million pounds for the local economy, and it’s hoped the most recent visit will help participating firms further increase their turnover.

For information about the services offered by the council’s Business Solutions team log on to www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/business_solutions or email Patricia Mallon at patricia.mallon@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk