The InterTradeIreland all-island Meet the Buyer event held November 8, 2012 in Kilkenny attracted over 500 SMEs who were keen to gain information on how to unlock a public sector procurement market worth up to €20bn.
The event held in Kilkenny was opened by Minister John Perry TD, Minister of State for small business.
The event provided an opportunity for buyers and suppliers alike to meet and engage in one location. SMEs gained access to buyers to better understand their needs and got an opportunity to showcase new and innovative products and services.
InterTradeIreland's all island Meet the Buyer events are designed to raise awareness and understanding of the public procurement market. In Kilkenny specifically SMEs gained direct access to 30 key buyers such as the National Procurement Service, HSE, An Garda Síochána, Irish Prison Service, Central Procurement Directorate, Northern Ireland Electricity, Irish Coast Guard and Irish Rail amongst others.
SME feedback from the events to date indicated that they obtained a real competitive edge by meeting potential buyers face to face. Those surveyed indicated that almost 80pc of suppliers got to meet the key public sector buyers they wanted to.
Under the overall policy direction of the NSMC, InterTradeIreland works in close collaboration with the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland, and with the existing development agencies, North and South, with offices in the United Kingdom, led by CEO Margaret Hearty.