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Northern Ireland's main exporters 'have experience and products to survive China crisis'

By Margaret Canning

Published 26/08/2015

The FTSE regained some of the value it lost in the ‘great fall of China’
The FTSE regained some of the value it lost in the ‘great fall of China’

Northern Ireland exporters like bus builder WrightBus and medical diagnostics firm Randox have the experience and talent to survive the present slowdown in China, an industry body has said.

Economic development agency Invest NI also confirmed a trade mission it had planned to China in November would go ahead.

There was a hiatus in the panic dubbed 'the great fall of China' yesterday as the FTSE 100 Index regained some of the value it lost, buoyed by an interest rate cut by China's central bank.

London's top flight closed up 182 points, or 3.09%, adding about £47bn back on to the value of the UK's top 100 listed companies after £74bn was wiped off on Monday.

China's central bank slashed interest rates by 0.25 per cent in an effort to shore up its economic growth.

Worries around China's economy sharpened two weeks ago when the central bank devalued its currency, making its goods cheaper but goods for import more expensive.

China has been regarded as a growing market for exporters because of its new embrace of capitalism and large population.

But Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said: "China has embraced capitalism but the one thing it hasn't had, which all capitalist economies have, is a crisis." And while the present crisis was in a lull, he said there could be worse ahead for China in 2016.

Stephen Kelly of Manufacturing NI said the Chinese economy was crucial. "As the world's second largest economy, we require China to grow in order for the rest of the world's economy to grow," he said.

"It'll bring confidence and increased trade. For those already exporting to China it's likely to be a little worrying that the economy is slowing. However, these are mostly very large Northern Ireland firms with great experience in exporting and great products.  We should remain confident that they will continue to grow their trade in that marketplace." Invest NI has said it will go ahead with a trade mission to China in November and said interest in the event from companies was "strong".

Olive Hill, Invest NI director of trade, explained: "Exporting always has its challenges and unfortunately can be impacted by global conditions outside of anyone's control.

"However, exporting is still important to a company's continued success and to the growth of the Northern Ireland economy."

She added: "Invest NI will always encourage companies to undertake full due diligence and analysis before entering any market.

"And while conditions in China currently appear challenging, there still remain opportunities for those businesses with the right products to meet China's consumer demands."

Belfast Telegraph

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