Posted on Tuesday 18 September 2012 by Ulster Business

12.09.17 Meet the Buyer pic 1

Laura Jackson, from Asdon, Des Armstrong, Director of Central Procurement Directorate and Jenny Williamson, Procurement Project Manager at InterTradeIreland launch the InterTradeIreland Meet the Buyer event.

More than 350 small businesses are expected to converge on the Glenavon Hotel in Cookstown on 27 September for the first InterTradeIreland ‘Meet the Buyer’ event to be held in Northern Ireland.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and engage with representatives from around 22 of the key buying organisations from Northern Ireland and Ireland including Translink, An Garda Siochana, The Irish Universities Association, Irish Prison Service, ESB, DRD Roads Service, HSE, Northern Ireland Water and Power NI

The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) and the National Procurement Service (Ireland) will also be at the event which aims to help to demystify the procurement process and highlight opportunities for businesses to compete for significant government contracts, both North and South.

The event is run in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, Central Procurement Directorate (CPD), National Procurement Service and the Strategic Investment Board.

Margaret Hearty, InterTradeIreland Director of Business Programmes and Services said: “Whilst companies do have to submit formal tenders and understand how the market works, there are a lot of supports out there to help SMEs with this - our own Go2Tender programme for example. Still, for some suppliers, the concept of trading with the Public Sector is an alien one with the processes of tendering and procurement seen as intimidating and bureaucratic.

“This perception alone can stop businesses, particularly SMEs from competing for potentially lucrative contracts when the reality is that because of their size, they may be best placed to offer flexibility, value and innovative solutions to meet the demands of buyers in the public sector,” said Margaret.

“InterTradeIreland is leading what is the first truly joined-up government approach to tackling the problem of SMEs accessing government contracts as despite significant cuts in spending, public procurement remains a huge and underexploited market for many SMEs, a market currently worth around £16bn across the island. This event will bring suppliers together with representatives from a number of major buying agencies, North and South, giving them the opportunity to engage in one-to-one meetings with buyers and take part in workshops where procurement processes will be explained and upcoming opportunities highlighted,” she added.

There is still time for you to register at



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