Pictured from left are Eamonn Whelan (Sandvik); Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA; Nick Coburn (NI Chamber); and Andrew Greer (SSE Airtricity)
Northern Ireland’s Economy Minister Simon Hamilton addressed members of the local business community at a ‘Minister on the Move’ event held by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and SSE Airtricity in Tyrone earlier today.
The ‘Minister on the Move’ initiative provides businesses with the chance to speak directly with NI Assembly Ministers at a number of locations across the province, with today’s event being hosted by Ballygawley-based Sandvik.
In addition to receiving a departmental update from the Minister, attendees also heard the growth story of Sandvik and embarked on a tour of its facilities. The Sandvik factory located in Ballygawley, and is known as one of the world’s premier manufacturing facilities for mobile crushers and screens. Exporting to over 40 countries, spanning every continent, Sandvik has grown its export sales from Northern Ireland by 60% over the past two years.
Speaking at the event Minister Hamilton said:
“I am delighted to participate in the Minister on the Move event today. Northern Ireland is fortunate to have some fantastic companies similar to Sandvik across all sectors producing goods and services that can compete with businesses anywhere in the world. Growing our exports is crucial if we want to create an outward looking, globally competitive economy. Recent HMRC figures showed the value of Northern Ireland’s exported goods had grown by 9.5 per cent. I want us to build on this success. I am determined and with your help I want to ensure that Northern Ireland is perfectly placed to take advantage of the opportunities the years ahead will present.”
Eamonn Whelan, Site Manager at Sandvik said:
“Sandvik is delighted to host today’s NI Chamber event, and to welcome the Minister to our Ballygawley facility. We hope that the Minister and his guests enjoyed visiting the plant to see how modern lean production methods have underpinned our export growth. We are confident that Minister Hamilton will continue the great work of his predecessors over the years, supporting our sector, developing the skills and capabilities of our people, our factory, and our local supply chain, as we continue to develop Sandvik’s Northern Ireland site as our Global Competency Centre for Mobile Crushing and Screening.”
Andrew Greer, General Manager (NI) of SSE Airtricity said:
"We’re delighted at SSE Airtricity to be sponsoring the Minister on the Move series with the NI Chamber of Commerce and we were delighted to hear Minister Hamilton sharing encouraging positive economic data on the local economy. I would also like to thank Sandvik for hosting the event and for sharing their success in growing an innovative world class manufacturing facility here in Northern Ireland."