Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Borough Council recently welcomed business delegates from India as part of its ‘Go East’ export and inward investment programme.
‘Go East’ is one of a series of successful export and sales programmes run by the council over the past two years, targeting a number of priority markets including the Republic of Ireland, North America, India and providing access to Great Britain.
The aim of the series of programmes is to help SMEs in the borough to identify, target and develop business opportunities in markets outside Northern Ireland.
Positioning the ABC borough as an attractive location for potential foreign direct investors from all over the world, the ‘Go East’ project has been hugely successful since it began in February 2018 when SME owner-managers from the borough, along with a civic delegation, visited the southern
Indian city of Chennai, establishing links with Indian companies and attracting potential investors.
Following this successful visit, the Madras Chamber of Commerce agreed to lead a delegation of Indian business representatives to the borough in September 2018. The delegates were senior executives in some of the largest companies in the Tamil Nadu region.
Lord Mayor Julie Flaherty commented: “It was a pleasure to meet the Indian
delegates and host a civic reception in their honour.
“During their visit, the delegation met with representatives from some of the borough’s key employers such as Almac, Hyster Yale, Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen Mill, Tayto Group and Armagh Cider Company, and saw first-hand the world-class manufacturing base that is located in our borough.
“This visit showcased the borough as a highly attractive location that can offer many advantages to overseas companies seeking to gain a foothold in the UK market.”
The four-day inward visit to Northern Ireland also gave the Indian delegates the opportunity to meet with owner-managers of some of the leading SMEs in the borough and to experience the tourism and heritage attractions that the region has to offer.
Anand Yadama, Chief Executive of Ovation Services LLC, commented: “This is my first time in Northern Ireland. I have been really impressed with the availability of high calibre labour and both the work ethic and the passion that we have seen throughout the business community in the borough we visited.
“Our HQ is in Hyderabad, we have offices in Ohio and we have been exploring the idea of establishing a UK presence for some time.
“Now that we have seen what Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough has to offer, we are seriously looking at the viability of opening our first UK office here.”
The second wave of the ‘Go East’ Programme is now under way and ambitious local companies considering either selling to or buying from India have the opportunity to receive extensive one-to-one support, and carry out bespoke prospecting to identify, approach and arrange meetings with potential business partners.
Through the Go East trade mission, the participating companies will also have a unique and exciting opportunity to develop new skills and gain the confidence necessary to explore and build potential new export links during a four-day market visit to Mumbai and Pune in late November.