Launching the plan, Jonathan Bell said: “Export-led growth is essential to the development of economic growth and helps underpin sustainable job opportunities which can have a substantial ripple effect across the economy. Growing our economy through increasing exports and external sales in Northern Ireland is the key aim of the Export Matters Action Plan.
Our ambition is twofold; to grow the value of exports and external sales outside NI by 80% by 2025 and increase the number of local businesses engaged in sales outside Northern Ireland.
“It is through the implementation of Export Matters, we are seeking to assist those firms who are already competing successfully overseas as well as looking to find and support new exporters in order to increase and diversify our export base."
Key actions of the plan include:
· The establishment of an Exports Forum – comprising Government, export support providers, local Government and businesses.
· The development of a composite Trade Development and Overseas Event Programme across all export support providers, and
· The development and utilisation of the new Broad Economy Sales and Exports Sales Measure to provide a timely and reliable indicator of all manufacturing and services sales outside Northern Ireland.
The Minister added: “This is an ambitious action plan and one that requires a partnership approach in its implementation. It is only by working together that we will achieve the key aims of Export Matters.”