Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) has launched a new International Division to service businesses in a post-Brexit business environment.
The division, which will be headed up by NI Chamber’s Head of International & SME Development, Tanya Anderson, is an evolution of the business support organisation’s current offering to ensure that it is in the best possible position to deliver enhanced services to members to meet their business needs and practically facilitate their growth.
Supported by three international champions, A&L Goodbody, Grant Thornton and Queen’s University Belfast, the division will provide practical business support, expert guidance and the opportunity for peer learning and connections for NI Chamber’s member businesses.
The International Division will also importantly provide expert, practical assistance to members in planning for the potential implications of Brexit.
The Brexit consultancy service is led by NI Chamber and will be delivered by the team at Pinnacle Professional Limited, a consultancy practice led by Robert McConnell and Dr Scott King.
It will also host collaborative forums for established exporters and focussed workshops for new exporters drawing on the expertise of the international champions and successful corporates.
Commenting on the division’s launch, John Healy, President of NI Chamber, said: “The suite of services provided by NI Chamber’s International Division recognise the commitment from NI Chamber and its International Champions to assist local companies with entry and expansion into global markets.
“As well as our national reach, we maintain strong relationships with Chambers, trade bodies and businesses overseas.
“Such relationships enable us to inform local businesses on trade opportunities available, support them with their international growth strategies and connect them with markets globally.”
The new suite of international services join NI Chamber’s current Export Documentation Service which provides exporters with all the documentation required to get their goods to market. These include European Community, Arab and Egyptian Certificates of Origin as well as EUR1 and ATR Movement Certificates, ATA Carnets and document legalisation.
Mark Thompson, Partner at A&L Goodbody, said: “We are proud to partner with NI Chamber of Commerce & Industry on this new initiative, which comes at a critical time for businesses in Northern Ireland.
“Whilst increasing exports has always been important for the growth of the local economy, the implications of Brexit means it is more crucial than ever to develop our export capabilities. Local companies must continue to focus on deepening and diversifying their export base through R&D and innovation.
“As NI Chamber’s International Champion, we look forward to working with local firms to help them understand the many new rules associated with trading in overseas markets as they emerge in the coming months.”
Peter Legge, Tax Partner at Grant Thornton, said: “Grant Thornton are delighted to partner with the Northern Ireland Chamber as an International Champion.
“We are passionate about supporting local businesses to grow globally so that they can compete and succeed in their chosen international markets.
“Grant Thornton in Northern Ireland is part of the Grant Thornton Ireland partnership, Ireland’s fastest growing professional services firm and internationally we have over 53,000 people in over 130 countries.
“We can therefore draw on our local knowledge, national expertise and global presence to help local businesses at whatever stage of the journey they are at and wherever they are located.”
Isabel Jennings, Director of Marketing, Recruitment, Communication and Internationalisation at Queen’s, said: “Queen’s has been a patron of NI Chamber for many years and I am delighted that we will further strengthen our long standing relationship as an international champion.
“As a world-class university ranked in the top 180 universities in the world, Queen’s delivers both local and international impact.
“We continue to support our outstanding students and staff to conduct leading-edge education and research, focused on the needs of society. In particular, the university is at the forefront of developing new thinking and technologies in key areas such as health, reconciliation, peace and justice, information technology, food security, and energy.
“The unique and positive impact of Queen’s – locally and globally – is well recognised and by working in partnership with the business community we are poised for considerable success and growth.”