Belfast Telegraph

Video: Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce host cross-border networking event at Titanic Belfast

NI Chamber of Commerce

The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has hosted a major cross-border networking event at Titanic Belfast.

The Connecting for Growth event, which attracted 200 businesses from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, was sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK and featured a keynote speech from John Hurley, Head of Business 2 Business at Dublin Airport.

Dublin Airport is the key gateway to the island of Ireland, and a major economic engine supporting an estimated 97,400 jobs and contributing €6.9 billion to GDP.

Last year passenger numbers at the airport increased by 11% to a record 27.9 million, making Dublin the fastest-growing major airport in Europe.

Sandra Scannell, Head of Business Services at the NI Chamber, said: “Networking is one of the most important tools available to businesses and comes with a world of opportunity – if you’re prepared to get out there"

Mr Hurley said:  "Great business is done by simply meeting and engaging with people and this is a fantastic opportunity to connect further with many businesses in Northern Ireland.

"Dublin Airport is the biggest economic engine in the country and Northern Ireland is an important market for us with 1.2 million residents using Dublin Airport in 2015, a 37% increase over the previous year.

"We hope to grow that figure further as new routes and frequencies are added to our network."

The event part of the NI Chamber’s Connecting for Growth programme, in partnership with Bank of Ireland UK, which is designed to facilitate increased business between companies from Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Gavin Kennedy, Head of Business Banking NI at Bank of Ireland UK, said:

“With £5bn in all island cross border trade of goods and services, we see our partnership with the NI Chamber as pivotal in building awareness, confidence and support for local businesses to achieve their growth ambition through expansion and diversification into non domestic markets.”

Also speaking at the event was Peter Hopwood, a pitch trainer with London-based Hopwood Communications, who gave delegates expert advice in how to fine-tune their elevator pitches with potential new clients.

Business representatives had the opportunity to put his tips into practice straight away at speed networking sessions.

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