To Inspire and Support Export

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1 To Inspire and Support Export Through private sector partnership in partnership with

2 EXPORT FIRST PARTNERS Northern Bank Northern Bank plays an integral role in the overseas expansion of some of Northern Ireland s leading exporters, and also supports the export potential of many other innovative local companies for whom overseas markets may be the next step in the growth of the business. Northern Bank offers a full range of specialist support and products to the business community including day to day banking, Trade and Export Finance, Cash Management, Asset Finance, Invoice Finance, Foreign Exchange, Currency and Interest Rate Risk Management. We recognise the importance of export as a key driver of economic growth in Northern Ireland. Northern Bank is strongly committed to making export straightforward by putting the right resources at the disposal of both established and aspiring exporters the financial resources and innovative technology, along with the expertise and the all important relationships with customers. For further information please visit A&L Goodbody A&L Goodbody is one of Northern Ireland s premier corporate law firms. Combining local legal talent with all-island support and resources, the Firm provides unparalleled depth and breadth of expertise across every facet of business law including Commercial Contracts (including agency and distribution) & International Trade; Corporate; Banking and Financial Services; Commercial Property; Employment; Energy and Natural Resources; EU & Competition; Intellectual Property & Information Technology; Litigation & Dispute Resolution; Projects & Construction; and Restructuring and Insolvency. Our Belfast-based lawyers, together with colleagues from our Dublin, London and New York offices, service the needs of a local, national and international client base. With over 40 staff in Belfast and total headcount of 525, we offer the most extensive range of specialist legal services available on the Island of Ireland. For further information please visit ASM Established in 1995, ASM is a leading firm of Chartered Accountants, Chartered Tax Advisors, Business Advisors and Management Consultants. The firm has six offices throughout the island of Ireland, employing over 160 members of staff in Belfast, Dublin, Dundalk, Dungannon, Magherafelt and Newry. Its wide geographic base means that ASM can offer specialist advice on cross border issues, and its membership of the global Crowe Horwath network provides it with access to expertise from associate firms throughout the world. ASM prides itself on its ability to provide high levels of direct input from experienced Directors and senior staff on every assignment. Many of the practices Directors previously worked within the Big 4 firms, and a number also have international experience from time spent working overseas. Its services include Audit and Accounting, Taxation, Corporate Finance, Forensic Accounting, and Insolvency Services as well as specialist consulting in areas such as Hotels, Tourism and Leisure. For further information please visit

3 BACKGROUND Northern Ireland has an over dependence on the public sector and the level of productivity is one of the lowest in the UK. Businesses in the region perform poorly in the key drivers of productivity including innovation and export activity. The ability to compete internationally is recognised as vital to stimulating growth within an economy and is a priority identified in the Programme for Government and the Independent Review of Economic Policy Whilst much is being done to encourage Northern Ireland businesses to export, an Economic Appraisal commissioned by Invest NI and completed by FS McClure Watters in 2010 identified that there is a gap in the support available particularly to non exporters or early exporters and a lack of knowledge of the information available. In response Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Northern Bank, A&L Goodbody and ASM, has developed Export First. This is a one year pilot initiative designed to engage private sector expertise and the world wide Chamber of Commerce network in support of Northern Ireland businesses interested in exploring export further. Export First will: Assist businesses to develop exporting capability Address any barriers experienced information, expertise, contacts Inspire non exporters to explore exporting Encourage new market development Inspire businesses to investigate opportunities afforded by new technology. in partnership with

4 Information One of the most significant barriers to export is the lack of awareness of existing export support and information available. The Export First team will act as a point of contact to sign post participants to information and support within the partnership areas of expertise, the Chamber network and other support agencies. Events Some of the most successful exporters from across Northern Ireland will play host to a series of themed events where they will share their experiences on how they have become a thriving global company. Host companies will give participants the chance to explore their business whilst divulging the ingredients of a world class export strategy. CAPABILITY Building Events Export First will include capability building events designed to help participants develop the skills required for export. These events will address various topics including: Export Workshops Specific export topics centred on financial and legal considerations for export will be covered. Meet the Experts Experienced exporters and a range of other experts will share their experience and address queries in speed mentoring sessions. This will enable participants to build up a network of contacts and get speedy responses to any queries that they may have a must for overstretched entrepreneurs. Test Your Pitch Sessions Participants will have the opportunity to simulate an export pitch with a panel of seasoned exporters, putting what they have learned across the duration of the programme into practice. Participants will be given constructive feedback with ways of improving their export sales pitch. BUSINESS TO BUSINESS LINKS Local Business Links Export First will provide access to experienced professionals via facilitated business to business links. Support from peers and the sharing of experiences is a proven method of encouraging better business practices as well as an excellent opportunity to expand your business network. Global Business Links Participants will have the opportunity to take the next step and develop new business into their target market with the aid of global chamber to chamber links. Selected participants will attend a series of scheduled meetings and gain valuable market insight in their chosen target market.

5 calendar of events JUNE 2011 Export First Launch Event SEPT 2011 OCT 2011 NOV 2011 JAN 2012 FEB 2012 MAR 2012 APR 2012 MAY 2012 JUNE 2012 Event 1 Meet the Expert Event 1 Event 2 Capability Building Event Event 3 Capability Building Event Meet the Expert Event 2 Test Your Pitch Event 4 Ongoing business link match making between fledgling exporters and more experienced peers. AUTUMN 2012 Global Business Links

6 ABOUT NORTHERN IRELAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce (NICC) is the largest chamber in Northern Ireland and one of the fastest growing in the British Chambers of Commerce network. Formed in 1783, NICC has represented the interests of business and commerce across Northern Ireland for over 228 years. NICC has a large and active membership of almost 1,000 businesses, and supports membership by providing exceptional networking and business development opportunities; influencing government economic policy in support of members commercial interests and the wider advancement of the economy and facilitating and providing practical support for development of export. NICC is recognised as an Investor in People and has achieved British Chambers of Commerce Accreditation, ISO 9001:2008 Accreditation and the Gold Star Customer Service Excellence Award. Who Can Apply? Export First is Northern Ireland wide and open to any company with a desire to start exporting or grow their export trade. The support available is modular in format so that companies can participate in some or all of the elements. CONTACT US Further information is available from Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. Contact the Export First Team on: call register on line Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, 22 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BJ +44 (0) in partnership with

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