InterTrade Ireland is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the Belfast Agreement (the ‘Good Friday Agreement’) in 1998. Its statutory functions are set down in the British-Irish Agreement Act, 1999 and it operates a wide range of enterprise support programmes to develop cross border business and assist SME’s with capacity building, adoption of Research and Innovation, development of beneficial linkages and related initiatives.
InterTradeIreland (ITI) operates from a single base in Newry, Co. Down and is jointly funded in a 2:1 ratio, respectively, by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland.
InterTrade Ireland has evolved its strategy to meet its legislative remit through an ongoing process of research, analysis, project design, pilots, implementation, evaluation and review.
The organization’s early work addressed a knowledge gap which was inhibiting trade and business development linkages between Ireland and Northern Ireland. This was addressed primarily through the development of 'networks of trust' between the business communities North and South. More recently InterTradeIreland identified, and acted upon, the importance of co-operation through more formal business networks as a key source of knowledge diffusion, competitive advantage and increased trade.
InterTrade Ireland’s value proposition for the business community is to deliver benefits in the key areas of competitive advantage – sales and marketing, science, technology and innovation, enterprise capability development and business networks. All of InterTrade Ireland’s initiatives are informed by targeted business and economic policy research and development.