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Eastern promise to be outlined at Asia export boot camp

Kevin Craig and Damian Long of Ulster Bank with featured companies Punjana and CDE GlobalNorthern Ireland companies with the potential to export to Asia will hear from some of the world’s leading experts on trading with the continent’s key markets during an Ulster Bank-backed event near Belfast next month.

Senior management at RBS Asia and senior representatives of UKTI in the region will be on hand at the Dunadry Hotel on February 17th for the UKTI event, in conjunction with Invest NI, sponsored by Ulster Bank. The experts will meet local exporters and importers who have a focus on India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.

Q&A Session

In addition to talks, briefings and Q&A sessions, the event – Doing Business in Asia – will include eight market clinics focusing on the key Asian economies, which will each feature a local company already trading successfully with the area.

Delegates will get the latest on-the-ground briefing on the business and political climates in these economies, as well as the opportunity for one-to-one meetings that will offer advice on their business prospects in these markets.

Further information about the event is available at:

Kevin Craig, Director, Corporate Banking at Ulster Bank, says: “Asia has a population of some four billion people and many of its economies will experience strong growth for the foreseeable future”.

“Ulster Bank works closely with many of Northern Ireland’s leading businesses, including major exporters and importers, and we know the potential of doing business in Asia.”

“Ulster Bank is pleased to support this event. It will give Northern Ireland companies a unique opportunity to gain invaluable insight into doing business in Asia, combined with the experience of companies trading in the region.” Mr Craig adds.

Mr Craig points to Punjana and CDE as Ulster Bank clients successfully doing business in Asia.

Leading Ireland tea producer

Punjana, is a leading Northern Ireland tea producer, owned and managed by the Thompson family. Cousins Ross and David Thompson import teas from Assam (India) as well as Kenya into their state-of-the-art blending and packing facility in Belfast.

Ross Thompson says: “Container loads of raw tea are shipped every week from Kolkata and from Mombasa, with punctuality and safe carriage being vital to the business. Suppliers to Punjana have proven track records, being leaders in their field and using shipping lines who share their credentials.”

CDE Asia is the Indian arm of Cookstown-based CDE Global, a leading company in the design and manufacture of tailor-made equipment for the sand, wastewater, materials handling and quarrying industries.

CDE Asia was set up four years ago and has a sales and design facility in Kolkata and a manufacturing plant outside of Kolkata employing around 60 people in total.

Peter Craven, the marketing and sales manager at CDE Global, says that targeting other Asian markets is also an objective.

“We initially entered the Indian market via a distributor, but then set up our Indian business, which has an Indian board and Indian employees. Import tariffs meant that it was commercially viable to set up this business. We’re experiencing annual expansion rates of around 50% in India and see lots of potential for further growth,” he points out.

“We’re also targeting other Asian markets, particularly South East Asia, including Malaysia and Singapore,” he adds.