We were established under the terms of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, as the all-island Trade & Business Development Body, with the remit to ‘exchange information and co-ordinate work on trade, business development and related matters, in areas where the two administrations specifically agree it would be in their mutual interest’.
Over the years, our strategy has evolved to meet and translate our legislative remit to enhance North/South business co-operation, delivering mutual economic benefits to Northern Ireland and Ireland. We have achieved this through targeted business and economic research, engagement with the business and policy communities North and South, and evidence-based programme design, implementation, evaluation and review.
Our early work addressed a knowledge gap which was inhibiting trade and business development linkages between Ireland and Northern Ireland. This was addressed primarily through the development of ‘networks of trust’ between the business communities North and South. More recently we identified, and acted upon, the importance of co-operation through more formal business networks as a key source of knowledge diffusion, competitive advantage and increased trade.
Creating an environment in which Ireland and Northern Ireland co-operate to ensure businesses are making full use of cross-border opportunities to drive competitiveness, growth and jobs.
We will support businesses, through our innovation and trade initiatives, to take advantage of North/South co-operative opportunities to improve capability, and drive competitiveness, jobs and growth.
Our value proposition for the business community is to deliver benefits in the key areas of competitive advantage – science, technology & innovation, and sales and marketing.