Northern Ireland

NI companies win business in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah
Image caption The NI companies spent a week in Riyadh, the capital and Jeddah, the Kingdom's main port

A number of Northern Ireland companies took part in a week-long trade mission to Saudi Arabia earlier this month organised by Invest NI.

The 27 companies on the mission included manufacturers of engineering machinery for infrastructure projects.

Architectural consultants and mechanical and electrical engineering companies were also on the mission.

One of the firms was Rapid International of Tandragee, which secured about £250,000 worth of orders.

It makes mixers and batching plants for concrete manufacturers and employs more than 40 people.

Adrian Pearson, the company's export sales manager, said Saudi Arabia was a very good market for Rapid.

"At a time when business in the UK and Ireland is so difficult, and when the US is still in a downturn, winning export orders in the Middle East is one of our main priorities," he said.

New equipment

Belfast firm Andor Technology also won some business on the Saudi mission.

Andor, which employs about 260 people worldwide, is a spin-off company from Queen's University and makes advanced camera technology for use in scientific research.

Raied Al-Wazzan, one of the organisation's senior physicists, represented Andor on the trade mission.

He said that Saudi Arabia was investing a lot on research and development, and that the company was well placed to supply some of the equipment.

"A lot of countries have cut back on research and development because of the downturn," Mr Al-Wazzan said.

"But the Saudi government is building lots of new universities. One of them is King Abdullah's University, in the west of the country. They are looking for a lot of new equipment, and we will be supplying some of what they need."

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