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Nick Coburn appointed to UK Government trade advisory body

Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director Nick Coburn CBE has been appointed Northern Ireland’s single representative on the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) newly established Strategic Trade Advisory Group.

Representing Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), British Chambers of Commerce colleagues and exporters, Mr Coburn will advise DIT ministers and trade negotiators on future trade policy and negotiations.

The Government’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group is made up of 14 experts drawn from different groups such as business, civil society and unions. The group will meet quarterly, and have direct access to trade ministers and UK negotiators.

The experts have an interest in trade deals and their impact on the UK – from the workplace to consumer choice and the environment.

Commenting on his appointment, which was made by the Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, Mr Coburn said: “I am honoured and delighted to be appointed to the Strategic Trade Advisory Group, providing Ulster Carpets Group with a unique opportunity to represent Northern Ireland exporters within Government.

“It is extremely important that the UK Government works closely with businesses during any trade negotiations once it leaves the European Union. It is also vital that any future trade policy works for all regions of the UK.

“Therefore, as an exporter from Northern Ireland, I look forward to bringing practical business knowledge to the group along with an extensive local and international chamber network.”

NI Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor also commented: “Nick has been Managing Director of Ulster Carpets Group for 15 years whilst serving as Deputy Chairman of the group for the past three years. This experience, alongside his past Presidency of NI Chamber, which prioritises business growth and export, makes him the perfect individual to represent exporters and the interests of Northern Ireland at this extremely important time.”

Portadown based Ulster Carpets is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known manufacturers and exporters. The company manufactures carpets and its wares have been used in many areas across the world including Europe, the US and the Middle East.

Nick Coburn was also recently awarded a CBE for services to the economy in Northern Ireland in the New Year Honours list.