The Head of Business presented the above report details of which had been previously circulated to Members. The purpose of the report was to seek Members endorsement on the proposed Global Export Programme.
Councillor M McHugh expressed his support of the above report. He commended the work of Officers involved in the identification of market growth for SME’s. He supported the partnership arrangement with Donegal County Council and commented that with the uncertainty over Brexit that such an arrangement would hopefully minimise impact on the local economy and also enhance and develop the skills to embrace the new market.
Councillor McLaughlin supported the report and commended the work of Officers. She referred to both Councils identifying the need for a bespoke programme for local companies to assist them internationalise however expressed concern that such a programme should be the remit of Invest NI and therefore queried why INI were not funding the programme.
The Head of Business advised that the programme provided the opportunity to increase awareness with potential export markets. He added that they were beginning to see prosperity evolve and believed that the programme would add value and compliment to existing programmes of a similar nature facilitated by other Agencies.
Alderman Hussey concurred with concern expressed regarding Invest NI’s underperformance and their lack of commitment to the support of SME’s in the District Council area. However he fully endorsed the report.
Councillor Cooper also expressed concern with the poor commitment from Invest NI and the change in approach in previous years regarding the involvement with cross border initiatives. He suggested that Council writes to the relevant agencies to make a formal request for funding towards the programme.
Recommended that Council notes the contents of the above report.