Belfast Telegraph

Invest NI leads 22 firms on Nordic trade trip

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland companies with products from engineering machinery to sports socks are taking part in a business trip to the Nordic region.

A total of 22 companies from across the province are joining the biggest-ever Invest NI trade mission to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Four of the companies are in linen or clothing manufacturing - such as Bridgedale Outdoor in Newtownards, which makes socks for outdoor pursuits.

Four are in food and drink and the remainder in manufacturing or other industries.

The food and drink cohort includes Boozeberries in Dromore, Co Down.

Director Barbara Hughes said they were travelling under the 'Ruby Blue' banner, the brand developed by the company for customers in export markets who could be averse to the word 'booze'.

She said: "We hope to get some secure business while we are out there. We have sold a few cases here and there but nothing huge."

Bar sales were a focus for the company, she said, particularly in the thriving cocktail bar market in Swedish capital Stockholm.

"Stockholm bars would be highly regarded in the mixology [cocktail-making] world. One bar said they'd made the best Cosmopolitan in the world with our cranberry liqueur."

Invest NI announced that NITC-Marketlink in Malmo, Sweden, had been appointed as in-market support adviser for the Northern Ireland firms.

Trade director Dr Vicky Kell said it was targeting the Nordic region because its economies had not been as badly hit by the crisis in the eurozone.