Belfast Telegraph

Trade mission targets slice of Asian economy

By Clare Weir

Eleven Northern Ireland companies are spending the week on a trade mission to Taiwan and South Korea.

Four of the 11 companies are visiting the important Asian markets for the first time. The mission is Invest NI's third to Asian markets this year and will focus on the two main business centres of Taipei and Seoul.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI trade director, said there were many benefits for Northern Ireland companies in South Korea.

"There is a wealthy population that is prepared to pay a premium for quality goods from the UK," she said.

"In addition, the economy there is continuing to show significant growth, certainly well ahead of European averages.

"For instance, growth in 2010 is projected to reach 5%, making it the fourth largest economy in Asia and the 14th globally. With the introduction of the EU/South Korea Free Trade Agreement and a focus on UK products and services, South Korea is becoming an important market with many and varied opportunities.

"Taiwan is another Asian market that has particularly close links with the UK and has sourced goods worth £750m from UK suppliers."

Further missions are scheduled for China, Hong Kong Malaysia and Vietnam.