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Invest NI to post region manager in Singapore

By Rachel Martin

Invest NI is hoping to take a chunk out of the rapidly growing Asian market as it appoints its third regional manager.

The new regional manager will be based in the Singapore High Commission and will cover 10 south east Asian countries.

Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI chief executive, said the market was quickly becoming one of the largest in the world: "The Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) is predicted to become the fourth largest single market by 2030.

"Northern Ireland exports to the region currently stand at nearly £260m, and we hope to build on that with a new regional manager to be based in Singapore."

The regional manager will be responsible for building a strong network of stakeholders and influencers to benefit trade development, as well as identifying potential investors.

The news comes as nine Northern Ireland businesses return from a trade mission to Singapore.

Mr Hamilton added: "The countries in the ASEAN region are diverse and offer different challenges and opportunities.

"Malaysia, for example, is one of the fastest growing economies in ASEAN, and in Thailand the rewards can be considerable but it can take time to develop the necessary business relationships. In the Philippines, where the middle class is expanding, there is a demand for foreign consumer goods.

"Singapore is seen as the gateway to the region, which is why we have chosen to base our new regional manager here. They will work closely with the Department for International Trade and be on hand to support NI businesses keen to explore these diverse markets."

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