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ann mcgregor, ni chamber chief executive

page 14 top 100

A renewed emphasis on trade for Northern Ireland will help us weather the challenges ahead of us

Ann McGregor

Ann McGregor is chief executive of the NI Chamber of Commerce


Shoppers in Belfast

Shoppers in Belfast

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Shoppers in Belfast

One of the key unifying themes around many of the businesses listed in the Top 100 is the fact that they recognise the benefits of exporting and trading internationally.

External and export sales are part of their growth strategy and they recognise the significant benefits which this brings, not just in higher sales and profits but also increased productivity, improved competitiveness and the reduced vulnerability that comes with not relying on the local market alone.

Undoubtedly it is challenging for businesses here to compete globally. Quality and innovation is outstanding but there are challenges in business development - making the sale, gaining customer confidence and getting the product to market. Businesses that invest in establishing an international sales team, developing digital marketing strategies and using the international support available by Invest NI, DIT and accredited Chambers of Commerce are the most successful. Northern Ireland businesses currently sell around £22bn of goods and services outside Northern Ireland annually - a great achievement given the size of our business base.