Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster will be in South Africa this week in a bid to help Northern Ireland businesses gain a foothold in what is a growing export market.
The Minister is leading an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to South Africa, which is seen as a gateway to the wider sub Sahara region.
Arlene Foster said: "The trade mission provides a real opportunity to showcase innovative products and services within our businesses, and to establish international partnerships between Northern Ireland and South Africa.
"Our focus on South Africa is designed to encourage and support local companies to do business in a market that can be used as an ideal springboard into other parts of Africa."
Ahead of the trade mission, Arlene Foster announced that Lisburn firm, Lissadell Liddell, has won business worth around £400,000 with a leading hotel chain in East Africa.
The Minister said the company is now supplying a full range of linen products to Serena Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and has hotels and safari lodges across East Africa. As well as the group’s flagship five-star hotel in Nairobi, Lissadell Liddell is providing linens to hotels in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Arlene Foster added: “This impressive contract gives this export-focused company a strong base in one of Africa’s most dynamic markets.
“Securing business with such a prestigious and growth focused hospitality group is a tremendous boost for a company which has been at the heart of the linen industry since 1866.
“It is among the most active local businesses outside Northern Ireland and has an impressive track record of success in even the most competitive regions that has benefited substantially from Invest Northern Ireland trade missions.”
Barry Simms, Lissadell Liddell’s International Sales Director, said: "The Serena Hotel Group is an extremely important customer for us. We secured the business because of the range of quality linens in our product portfolio, our successful track record with other prestigious hospitality groups in the UK, the Middle East and Asia, and the strength of our commitment to customer support.
"Our growth in international markets owes much to the excellent support from Invest NI especially through the trade mission programme. Missions are an extremely cost-efficient and effective way to develop business outside Northern Ireland," he added.
Notes to editors:
1. 27 companies are taking part in the Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to South Africa.
2. The Serena Group operates 36 luxury resorts, safari lodges and hotels, which are located in East Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Mozambique - and Southern Asia - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.