Belfast Chamber strengthens links with Dublin counterparts

A delegation from Belfast Chamber will this week travel to Dublin to meet with their counterparts there.  Belfast Chamber President, Rajesh Rana and Chief Executive Simon Hamilton will be meeting with Niall Gibbons and Mary Rose Burke, the President and Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber, at their offices in Dublin city centre.

Speaking in advance of the visit, Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton said, “Trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic has risen steadily over the last number of years to the point that, according to the HMRC’s latest statistics, Ireland is our largest trading partner for both imports and exports.  Yet, there is still a sense that there are lots of opportunities to do even more.  We sometimes instinctively look to places like the US and Middle East when we think of increasing trade but forget that, at present, there is already over £3 billion in annual exports going from Northern Ireland firms to the Republic with even more potential than that impressive figure.

At this time of uncertainty, it is arguably more important than ever that the business communities in the island’s two capitals increase their connections.  Regardless of the outcome of the UK’s exit from the European Union, businesses in Belfast and Dublin should be seeking to deepen their linkages.

Belfast Chamber is pleased to be able to visit our colleagues at Dublin Chamber to not just discuss the range of issues we both face as business communities but also to explore those opportunities and see how we as representative organisations can help our members to work together and trade more.  We want to develop practical ways in which we can boost business activity between Belfast and Dublin. Our Belfast Chamber Annual Lunch on Wednesday 23 October has boosting business between Belfast and Dublin as its theme and we are pleased that Niall with his wealth of experience in the world of tourism is attending and speaking.

There is huge potential in further developing the Belfast – Dublin corridor as a real driver of economic growth and prosperity for the entire eastern seaboard of the island.  Improving connectivity and forging stronger business links are the foundations of improved north-south trade and Belfast Chamber is keen to play a very active role in achieving that aspiration”.