Growing exports from local companies is one of the most effective ways to stimulate economic recovery and grow the Northern Ireland economy. This school of thought has been endorsed further by The Department for the Economy’s 10X Economic Vision published last year.
10X sets out the ambition to harness trade opportunities outside Northern Ireland to create a more prosperous and competitive economy for all.
So, with this in mind, Invest Northern Ireland launched its Go Further Grow Stronger exporting campaign earlier this month. Go Further Grow Stronger aims to make businesses which have previously focused on domestic sales aware of the breadth of opportunities which exist right on our doorsteps.
Northern Ireland’s business landscape is predominantly comprised of micro, small and medium sized enterprises – so for many the prospect of tackling international markets may be a step too far. However, the reality for many of these businesses is that by targeting neighbouring markets they could access a much bigger customer base quite easily.
Both the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain are within easy reach – there are no additional administrative requirements or regulatory checks to selling goods to either of these markets, yet they present the opportunity to sell products and services to an additional 70 million people.
Around 25,000* local companies are already selling in to these markets successfully – in 2020 sales to Great Britain and Ireland from Northern Ireland totalled £15 billion** and demand for products and services from Northern Ireland is forecast to continue growing.
As well as developing an aspiration to secure sales in neighbouring markets, Invest Northern Ireland also wants to ensure businesses planning to sell outside the region for the first time have access to all the support they will need to begin their exporting journey.
Businesses considering expanding their sales network can take the Export Health Check which was launched in conjunction with the campaign. The Export Health Check has a maximum of 8 questions and will take about 10 minutes to complete and it helps businesses understand the importance of export and quickly assesses their level of export readiness. Upon completion, businesses will receive a tailored export guide with practical tips and templates for exporting as well as signposting to support.
Northern Ireland based businesses can also get in touch with Invest Northern Ireland’s team of International Trade Advisors who can provide expert advice and guidance to help prepare your strategic exporting plans.
This team provides critical linkages for local exporters, connecting and signposting businesses to assistance and support across Northern Ireland.
If your business is considering selling outside Northern Ireland, visit www.Investni.com/export or if you would like to speak to a trade advisor please contact us or alternatively call our Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422
* BESES ** Broad Economy Sales and Export Statistics, NISRA