Surge in demand for export support services from NI businesses

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reported an uplift in demand for export services from companies across the Province. Through its International Division, NI Chamber has assisted over 500 local companies in their export journey this past year.

As well as being a designated authority for the issue of certified export documents, the business support organisation provides technical training on topics ranging from Letters of Credit, to Certificates of Origin, as well as covering prevailing issues for business such as Customs Declarations and Incoterms 2020.

According to Tanya Anderson, Head of International and Business Support at NI Chamber, whilst Brexit is a factor, a growing level of aspiration is also driving the demand for export support here.

International Business Support services at NI Chamber are delivered by Catriona Henry, Dawn Robertson, Tanya Anderson and Lynsey Foster.

“NI Chamber has a long-held track record of helping established and early exporters to grow globally. However, 2019 has seen a notable increase in demand for these services, as NI businesses are looking towards international markets with greater confidence that their goods and services can compete successfully across the world.

“We have witnessed a growing number of companies wanting to up-skill their own teams and make staff as agile as possible as they seek to scale. Responding to this, NI Chamber has trained almost 160 people in Customs Declarations procedures this year, to help them better understand the customs requirements and the possible implications of a post Brexit environment.

“We are also helping companies prepare for new Incoterms, which come in to effect in 2020. Incoterms are ‘International Commercial Terms’ which provide a standard set of definitions used in International Trade. Given that these are the cornerstone of trading internationally, we seek to ensure that local exporters are familiar with the 2020 version before they go live and we’re already helping over 100 individuals to do so.”

She added: “Maintaining a competitive edge in the global marketplace is a challenge in any circumstance, none more so than now for local businesses, but there is still much scope for optimism.

“Companies here are producing quality, innovative goods and services which are on-par with the very best in the world – and by accessing all of the support that’s out there, they can dramatically improve their chances of taking a share of the global market.”