Gulf trade mission for Draperstown firm

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Draperstown-based Sperrin Metal is one of 15 companies heading to the Gulf region as part of Invest Northern Ireland’s trade support activity, exhibiting at Arab Health and participating in a trade mission to UAE and Kuwait.

Speaking ahead of the four-day visit programme Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest Northern Ireland said local businesses have had strong export success in the region, across multiple sectors including machinery, materials handling, construction and food.

“Northern Ireland exports to the Gulf region currently stand at £221m,” he said. “The purpose of trade missions like this is to help support the growth of these exports, building on existing relationships and forging new ones.

“Sperrin Metal participated in our trade mission to the region in November last year and as a result secured a £45k contract with one of its distributors. This is a great example of why trade missions, and regular visits to target markets, should form an important part of a business’ export strategy.”

Peter Gormley, managing director of Sperrin Metal Products Ltd said: “We have participated in a number of Invest NI trade missions now and have secured new business as a direct result. Having access to in-market advisory support to help with research and assistance with visits to markets has been very helpful and certainly made our venture into these new territories a lot smoother.”

Mr Hamilton’s programme includes attending Arab Health, plus meetings in Dubai, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait to support export trade development.

He said Arab Health is the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region, and has been on Invest NI’s trade calendar for nine years now.

Mr Hamilton added that during the trip he would also be meeting with local ‘influencers’ who support them in promoting Northern Ireland in the region.