Northern Ireland - Netherlands Trade and Export Society

Country Profiles

Northern Ireland - One of Europe’s Best Kept Industrial Secrets

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  • Area: 13,600 km2 
  • Population: 1,8million
  • Capital: Belfast
  • Currency: Pound Sterling


Did You Know ?

  • Northern Ireland is still one of the true industrial manufacturing locations in the North West of Europe. 
  • Advanced technological production, competitive labour rates, an eye for quality and an SME mentality ensure that Northern Ireland products are successful in Europe and across the world. 
  • Northern Ireland manufactures 40% of the world’s mobile crushing and screening equipment, 30% of the world’s airline seats, 30% of the famous London Routemaster red buses and 25% of all computer read/write heads. 
  • The high degree of technological know-how and dynamic international activity driven by proactive economic development organisations is backed by strong university and research institutes.
  • Key companies include Bombardier, Caterpillar, B/E Aerospace, Seagate Technology, OSI MoyPark, Dunbia, Citi Group, Allstate Corp, Allen & Overy, Norbrook Laboratories, Denman, Thales, Wrightbus, Terex Powerscreen, Randox and Almac.
  • Northern Ireland exports more to the Netherlands (per capita) than any other mainland European country – making it the No. 1 export market for many NI companies. 
  • Just 70 minutes by plane from or to Schiphol, from either Belfast City or Belfast International airports. That’s just 10 minutes past Heathrow and in fact it is quicker to be in the centre of Amsterdam or Belfast than the centre of London !


Key Sectors in Northern Ireland:

  • Aerospace and Defence - Global leader in aerospace technology based on a strong precision engineering heritage rich in knowledge, skills and experience.
  • Creative industries - Emerging as one of the fastest growing and increasingly important sectors, with over 2,500 creative enterprises employing some 34,600 people. 
  • Financial services - International companies including asset management, insurance, banking, and financial technology firms operate middle and back office activities.
  • Food and drink -  Retail and foodservice in Europe count on Northern Ireland for high quality and innovative meats, dairy, convenience and fresh convenience products. 
  • ICT and electronics - Software development centres and research activity for a wide range of industries and global players. 
  • Life and health sciences - World-class research and close collaboration between industry, academia and clinicians to design, test and develop innovative solutions.
  • Materials handling - Centre of excellence in the field of materials handling built on a heritage of engineering excellence and a global reputation. 
  • Renewables and energy – Wind, tide and waves are a natural resource close at hand, with knowledge relevant to other renewable energy sectors including solar and biomass.
  • Security - Unique experience of security issues has created a thriving sector with expertise in a range of areas to counter terrorism threats globally.
  • Tourism- Titanic heritage monuments, mixed with Ireland's oldest working distillery, nature reserves, the Ulster Way and one of the greatest wonders of the world. Just come and experience a warm Northern Ireland welcome yourself !