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Firms targeting South Africa in move to secure overseas links

Northern Ireland companies hoping to forge valuable international business links are flying out to South Africa this week.

Eleven businesses, including Diet Express in Belfast and Edge Design in Dungannon, will be part of a 14-strong group meeting potential business contacts in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Between now and October 5, the Invest Northern Ireland trade mission will be investigating industry opportunities in sectors including including agri-technology, construction, mining, creative industries, healthcare and financial services. Anaconda Equipment International, Cookstown; MindMill, Carrickfergus; and CIGA in Ballymena, are returning to South Africa after taking part in previous trade missions.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI trade director, said: “The support for this mission from so many companies new to the South African marketplace is immensely encouraging and significant. It indicates a growing recognition among business here that South Africa offers substantial opportunities across a very broad range of business sectors.”

South Africa has a population of around 47 million and is emerging as one of the world’s most dynamic markets, also providing a gateway to the rest of Africa.

“South Africa’s economy benefits from huge mineral deposits of coal, diamonds, platinum, bauxite, manganese, chrome, gold and vanadium,” Dr Kell said.

“As well as mining operations, the country has been upgrading its infrastructure and intends to spend upwards of £72bn to 2013 on projects that will bolster key industries, especially tourism, telecommunications and attract further inward investment.”

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