Image: Leong Him Woh - Flickr
Richard Bell

Northern Powerhouse initiative to boost region’s export opportunities

North West companies operating in the oil and gas supply chain will have a chance to take advantage of increased export opportunities as part of a new Northern Powerhouse initiative.

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), together with business development organisation NOF Energy, has organised a series of trade visits to overseas markets that present major opportunities for businesses in th UK.

Introduced to highlight the products and services of firms in Northern Powerhouse regions such as Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire, those behind the initiative are also hoping to emphasise both the economic value of the North’s supply chain to the global market and the sector’s importance to the UK economy.

UKTI regional director David Coppock said: “Within the Northern Powerhouse regions are innovative companies that have developed technology-led solutions that will be in demand from the international market.

“Therefore, by utilising the strengths of the Northern Powerhouse, we can help fuel our economy by increased exports to industries such as oil and gas.”

He added: “This initiative will help businesses focus on a number of key markets where, with the support of UKTI and NOF Energy, they will have the opportunity to potentially instigate new commercial arrangements.”

Funding has been secured to help the companies involved in the trade mission cover the cost of travel. The trip will see delegates afforded the opportunity to meet prospective clients and representatives of the energy sector in each stop along the way.

NOF Energy’s chief executive, George Rafferty, said: “From decades of developing technology-led solutions that have been applied in deep water and harsh environments, the UK’s oil and gas supply chain is seen as the gold standard across the globe.

“The North of England supply chain is particularly strong and can support the ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse with its export-led activities.”

George continued: “The markets we are targeting have active oil and gas sectors keen to engage with UK businesses. This Northern Powerhouse initiative will enable North West companies, with innovative products and services that can be applied to the industry, establish new relationships that can deliver new export streams.”

The missions will be led by an NOF Energy international trade team. NOF Energy, which represents hundreds of businesses, has helped companies secure export deals worth over £100m through its overseas market visits.

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