Oldham-based catering equipment and refrigeration firm Safeguard Group is exploring the viability of exporting its products and services to Ireland.
The company was part of a government-organised delegation of North West businesses that travelled to Dublin last week to investigate opportunities in the Irish market.
According to the Oldham Chronicle, Safeguard was one of 60 companies from the North West that participated in the two-day trip.
Safeguard covers all aspects of commercial refrigeration, air conditioning and servicing of catering equipment. It operates two showrooms at its headquarters, one for new equipment and one for refurbished equipment.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is aiming to find 1,000 new exporters in the North West during 2013 in order to boost the region’s economy.
The trip to Dublin was designed to kick-start the search by giving firms an ‘export taster’ visit.
The two-day trip cost just £120 for new exporters, including return flights from Manchester Airport, overnight accommodation, and a programme of networking and training events.
Clive Drinkwater, UKTI’s regional director in the North West, said: “We’re working hard to increase the number of firms that export products from the North West, and I’d like to see at least 1,000 new companies start exporting during 2013.”
Drinkwater said Ireland was a good country for companies to choose as their first export market due to its close proximity and links to the UK.
Residents in Ireland spend an average of £3,558 on British goods every year, and the country is currently the North West’s fifth largest export market. The value of exports from the region last year was estimated at £1.2 billion.
“Just under half of our exports still go to EU countries so they’re a sensible choice for new exporters as the cost of flights and transportation is relatively inexpensive,” said Drinkwater.
“Once you’ve successfully exported to one country, it also makes it much easier to start targeting others. The opportunities are there for companies to start exporting and I hope the trip to Ireland will give many of them the incentive they need to give it a go.”