20 October 2017
DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA has today met with the Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox MP during a visit to Belfast.
Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and First Minister of Northern Ireland
Mrs Foster, who was joined at the meeting by former Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA, used the opportunity to invite the Board of Trade to meet in Northern Ireland.
Arlene Foster said,
"Northern Ireland's companies have been performing exceptionally well in terms of exports over recent months and years. The latest figures from HMRC show a 12% increase in our exports over the last year.
Before the Executive collapsed, the DUP were bringing a renewed focus to trade and exports. Through the Department for the Economy we developed a new International Trade Plan which is increasing Invest NI's presence in emerging markets, establishing a Trade Advisory Board and creating new Trade Ambassadors who will help sell Northern Ireland around the world. This followed on from a Trade Accelerator Plan which offered additional support to Northern Ireland companies especially those wanting to enter new export marks for the first time.
If we want to move our economy forward then not only do we have to build on our phenomenal success in attracting inward investment but we equally have to work with our firms to increase their sales outside of Northern Ireland.
We are keen that companies continue to work with Invest NI but we also want them to work with Dr Fox's Department and their team around the world. The Department of International Trade have a huge footprint across the globe and can offer particularly financial and export credit assistance to companies as they trade globally.
We greatly welcome Dr Fox's visit and keen interest in Northern Ireland. We invited him to bring the reconstituted Board of Trade to meet in Northern Ireland. As we prepare for the UK leaving the EU and the trading opportunities it will present, we will continue to liaise with the Secretary of State as to how we in Northern Ireland can play a full role in a globally focused United Kingdom".