Belfast Telegraph

Board of Trade visits to honour Northern Ireland firms for exports success

New adviser: Stephen Kelly
New adviser: Stephen Kelly
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Six local firms, including three in Newry, are to receive awards for their trading prowess from International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

Mr Fox will present the accolades to firms including STATSports, MJM Marine and First Derivatives as the Board of Trade visits Northern Ireland for the first time.

The minister said that the Board of Trade had been set up 400 years ago to ensure that the then United Kingdom of England and Scotland could share in the prosperity generated by commerce. It had become defunct towards the end of the 20th century, but was revived two years ago.

The minister said the board wanted to celebrate the global success of businesses here.

The other winners of the Board of Trade Awards are CDE in Cookstown, Belfast-based Datactics and fit-out company Deluxe Group.

Mr Fox said he will also urge exporters here to become "export advocates" to encourage other companies looking to sell overseas.

"Northern Ireland is a cornerstone of the UK economy and plays a vital role in securing the UK's shared prosperity," he added.

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"That's why my international economic department offers a full range of services to exporters from Northern Ireland, including £33m of UK Export Finance support last year alone, which has already resulted in more than £46m worth of overseas sales."

STATSports chief executive Alan Clarke said the sports performance monitoring firm was "thrilled" to receive recognition from the board.

It also announced the appointment of three new advisers to the Board of Trade including Manufacturing NI chief executive Stephen Kelly.

Mr Fox said: "The other advisers and I look forward to working with them as we take the board around the country to ensure the benefits of free trade are spread to every part of the UK."

Belfast Telegraph