NI firms hop­ing to boost busi­ness at Heathrow Air­port trade sum­mit

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY MICHELLE WEIR

COM­PA­NIES in North­ern Ire­land are pre­par­ing to pitch their busi­ness to ma­jor sup­pli­ers at Heathrow Air­port.

Firms will get a chance to meet the air­port’s big­gest sup­pli­ers at the first ever Heathrow Busi­ness Sum­mit to be held in North­ern Ire­land on June 20.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the North­ern Ire­land Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try, the Belfast sum­mit will help busi­nesses take ad­van­tage of the work be­ing spread across the UK both now and dur­ing con­struc­tion of a new run­way at Heathrow, and its as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture.

Busi­nesses will have the chance to net­work and trade with each other, con­nect with the air­port’s sup­ply chain and meet with In­vest NI to ex­plore ex­port­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

They will also be able to meet with lo­cal col­leges to dis­cuss skills and re­cruit­ment needs.

North­ern Ire­land Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try chief ex­ec­u­tive Ann McGregor said: “North­ern Ire­land Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try is delighted to be work­ing with Heathrow to de­liver the air­port’s first ever Busi­ness Sum­mit for North­ern Ire­land.

“The event will of­fer lo­cal SMEs the op­por­tu­nity to con­nect and trade face-to-face with Heathrow’s sup­ply chain, forg­ing links with some of the UK’s largest or­gan­i­sa­tions and ob­tain­ing in­sight into their pro­cure­ment pro­cesses.

“We en­cour­age busi­nesses to ex­press their in­ter­est as soon as pos­si­ble so we can match them to the requirements out­lined by the sup­ply chain com­pa­nies.”

“At­ten­dees will also have an op­por­tu­nity to meet with a range of ex­hibitor part­ners fo­cused on sup­port­ing busi­nesses to con­nect and build trad­ing re­la­tion­ships, in­clud­ing NI Cham­ber, In­vest NI and lo­cal coun­cils,” she added.

The Belfast City route is Heathrow’s busiest for do­mes­tic cargo, with over 270,000kg of high-value North­ern Ir­ish ex­ports trav­el­ling through the Lon­don air­port on their way to clients around the world ev­ery year.

In ad­di­tion, Lon­don­derry, for ex­am­ple, is named on Flybe’s in­dica­tive route map, show­ing new routes the air­line would look to op­er­ate from an ex­panded Heathrow.

DUP leader Ar­lene Fos­ter said: “Busi­nesses in North­ern Ire­land will have the op­por­tu­nity to seek a host of op­por­tu­ni­ties as a re­sult of this sum­mit be­ing held in Belfast.

“North­ern Ire­land is on the map as a great place to do busi­ness.”

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