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Northern Ireland business delegation set to meet Bin Laden Group

A delegation of Northern Ireland businesses will this week meet staff from Saudi Arabian construction giant the Saudi Bin Laden Group.

The meeting has been lined up by Invest Northern Ireland and will take place in Jeddah during a trade mission to the country this week.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI's trade director, said: "It's a marvellous business opportunity for our companies because the Saudi Bin Laden Group has vast interests in construction, engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications. As well as holding huge contracts for the construction of six new economic cities and major highways in Saudi, the group has extensive interests in other Mid East markets including the Lebanon and Egypt. It also has the exclusive contract for work on the Holy Sites at Mecca.

"The construction market in Saudi is booming due to huge oil revenues. The meeting will give our companies a tremendous opportunity to make contact with key decision makers."

The meetings were set up by a Belfast-born engineer and Queen’s University graduate Shazad Khan, who was raised in Sandy Row and educated at Methodist College, Belfast.

Mr Khan has worked for the $5bn Bin Laden group for over 20 years and is now the group's contract procurement manager.

Fourteen companies are taking part in the trade mission to the Saudi business centres of Jeddah and Riyadh. The delegation includes five companies from the materials handling sector, several offering security products and services, airport equipment, electricity generation machinery and personal diagnostic equipment.

Among those represented are Lisburn’s Boomer Industries, Newtonabbey-based Advanced Sensors, CEM Systems from Belfast, Cookstown-based CDE Ireland and Ballymena firm NIROX.

The group will be led by Bill McGinnis, chairman of UK manufacturer McAvoy Group, which has been doing business in Saudi for 30 years.

"The companies in this delegation are all experienced exporters and many already have business in Saudi Arabia,” said Mr McGinnis. “There is a strong representation from Northern Ireland's world leading materials handling industry; particularly the mobile crushing, screening and recycling sectors in which Northern Ireland is now an acknowledged global centre of excellence in machinery design and manufacture.”

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