The North West City region’s unique strategic cross border location will be one of the strong selling points for the seven companies from across the Donegal, Derry and Strabane Council areas that travel to the US next month as part of a high-level trade and investment delegation.
The companies travelling from Donegal are EKO Chute, MMG Welding and Wild Fuschia Bakery while O’Neill’s International Sportswear, Humanity Cosmetics, Learning Pool and Visual Edge will also be taking part.
The Trade and Investment mission will be led by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Councils and will include third level and further education providers and development organisations including the Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, the North West Regional College, Donegal ETB and Catalyst.
The trade and investment mission will run from 11 to 15 November. It will build on the strong political, economic and cultural linkages already established in Boston and Philadelphia with the North West City region and will be an opportunity to further reach out to the Irish diaspora.
Speaking ahead of the visit and welcoming the confirmation of the seven local companies, An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan said he welcomed the inclusion of local companies in the trade mission. He said it provided them with the support to make real, lasting and worthwhile business and networking links.
“This trade mission has real potential to not only showcase Ireland NW as an investment location but it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to strengthen the educational, political, cultural and diaspora connections we have with the US. This is very successful and unique collaboration between the two Councils and partners. We have enjoyed much success to date with three trade missions to Boston and two to Philadelphia and 40 companies availing of the support to develop exports into a new market.
“In addition to strengthening our cross border business networks and developing strong civic links with Boston and Philadelphia, the delegation have successfully signed a MoU with City of Boston, a MoU with NWRC and Philadelphia Community College and a MoU between NWRC and State of PA.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle said the visit was particularly timely for the companies and partners to promote the NW city region’s unique strategic cross border location.
She said: “This trade mission is a real opportunity for us to focus on our strengths in terms of location, talent and skills and support. It is our chance to really sell our location to the business community in the US, by educating them to the fact that post Brexit they can locate in our region and access both the North of Ireland and the EU. We will be very positive in our approach to emphasise to potential investors the strong selling points we have in terms of our location, our talented skills base, our cultural compatibility and quality of life.”
During the visit the participating businesses will meet with key contacts, explore and understand opportunities in the US market, develop in-market networks and develop relationships with potential customers. The civic delegation will engage with industry influencers and leaders, meet with Philadelphia Council and attend a Philadelphia Diaspora event. While in Boston they will visit the Irish Immigration Centre, meet State representatives at the State House and attend the official launch of the Harvard GSD Visit Atlas for a City Region project as well as engaging with senior business executives.
In addition to attending bespoke business to business meetings and engaging with potential investors and business connections, the delegation will attend a reception hosted by the Irish Consulate in Boston and be guests at the Golden Bridges Conference.
Last year, Joule, a locally based fire engineering consultancy business, was one of a number of companies that took part in the trade mission. The company’s founding director John McColgan says the trade visit was a fantastic opportunity to look at new markets in the United States and his company’s participation was a very positive experience.
He said: “Our participation in the trade delegation was hugely beneficial to us in that it provided us with opportunities to research the implementation of both our consulting business in Fire Safety, and the rolling out of our digital fire safety platform, TFS Compliance. It was the first time we participated in a trade mission and we really made the most of this opportunity by meeting new clients, customers, distributors and showcasing our expertise and services to the US market.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for us to promote the consulting and technology solutions we offer and the way in which we can digitalise the management of fire safety in our clients’ portfolios. Thanks to the trade mission we have registered a company in the US, are at an advanced stage in the distribution of our digital fire safety platform in North America and maintained and built upon many of the contacts we made and we look forward to working with them in the near future.”
The US trade mission takes place from 11-15 November and is funded by the Irish Government and the Executive Office.
For more information on the trade mission visit www.irelandNW.com and follow the hashtag #IrelandNW19.