Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council hosted a breakfast seminar for small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs in the Council area to hear about opportunities in the Israeli market.
Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell MLA and Hugo Bieber, Chief Executive of UK Israeli Business spoke to the attendees about the benefits of business growth and the opportunities that are on offer in Israel, which is a strong economy with a high proportion of research and development (R&D) companies.
The Mayor, Councillor Thomas Beckett officially welcomed everyone to the event and spoke about how the Council is well placed to assist local businesses; and how he looks forward to continuing to hear local business success stories through building on this international market opportunity.
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said: “This event provides the perfect forum for businesses in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area to explore the export and entrepreneurial opportunities which are at the very hub of building a strong business base in Northern Ireland. Israel is an important market for a number of Northern Ireland exporters, and these companies will be encouraged by Invest Northern Ireland to continue to build upon existing relationships. Those companies seeking to break into this developing export market will receive encouragement and assistance in establishing contacts and developing new business.
“The vision for our economy is based on a growing private sector with a highly skilled and flexible workforce operating in innovative firms that are competitive in global markets. Now that we have a date and rate to set corporation tax, my department and Invest Northern Ireland can begin to work towards securing the economic benefits and investment that a reduced rate will bring. Combined with a strong support network for entrepreneurs and SMEs provided by our local councils, we are ideally positioned to secure a new economic era for Northern Ireland.”
Since 2004, the Israeli economy has grown at a faster rate than most developed countries. Its growth is being driven by investment in innovation and its progression from a Start-Up nation to a Scale-Up nation. Currently there are over 300 multinational company R&D centres in Israel.
Partnerships with Israeli companies have the potential to bring exposure to business opportunities in Africa, India, China and the far-East, countries where Israeli businesses have long and deep relationships.
Alderman Allan Ewart, Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, said: “This breakfast seminar was the ideal time for local businesses to speak with the Hugo Bieber, to work with them to identify options for their business in Israel.”