The Business Bulletin - Issue 199 - 13th May 2013

On the burdens of the past and how they overhang the future

This letter is not an up beat one. Its about the aftermath of the war of the 1990’s following the collapse of the USSR.

The USSR had set provincial boundaries in the Caucasus that did not reflect ethnic boundaries and encouraged people to settle where the jobs were.

The effect of this was that many Azeris (Muslims) moved to the heartlands of Armenia. Although many Armenians protested they were told that as everyone is a Soviet citizen individual ethnicity is not important.

The unrest about this was frozen over in Soviet times, only to come out of the freezer when the USSR ended. The province of Nagorno (or mountainous) Karabakh declared that it would not be in the Azeri state but would be in the Armenian one. This led to a major shooting war that went on over 5 years, during which time Armenia was blockaded.

A cease fire was found in 1994 that had a number of unfortunate results. Firstly, the statelet of mountainous Karabakh was established (and recognised by nobody, like Turkish Northern Cyprus) and much of the land between Armenia proper and Karabakh that was Azeri was incorporated into Karabakh. Also the land to the west of present day Armenia became Azeri. Further there was an exchange of populations so that Armenia now has almost no Azeri minority.

As Azerbaijan is an ally of Turkey, the ceasefire resulted in a closure of the borders with both Azerbaijan and Turkey with major negative results.

This left only 2 international routes, Iran and Georgia. The road to Iran is a tortuous one through massive mountains and the road to Georgia and the Black Sea while open involves major transit costs which are a benefit to Georgia but an overhead cost that makes everything dearer than it would normally be in Armenia.

All this has a negative effect on economic development and is arguably one of the reasons why Armenia has lower economic growth that really needed to sustain employment.

Also the ceasefire which is not a peace settlement means that the Armenian government believes it is obliged to spend a disproportionate amount of the national budget on defence with effects on spending in all other areas.

In fact the ceasefire is really a hot one with shooting incidents across the borders from time to time and no-one knows when things might escalate. I was shown a large earth barrier constructed beside the main road south; its near the Azeri border and is there to make sure motorists are not targets.

Coming from Northern Ireland one feels the problem viscerally. The Armenians think of themselves as a small Christian country surrounded by Islamic ones and of Turkey as an oppressor that is seeking to out manoeuvre them and take their lands. They are very aware of what they term the Turkish genocides of the past. Of course there are 2 sides to every story and I am sure that the expulsion of the Azeris would be a continuing hurt to them, as is the confiscation of Azeri lands by Karabakh.

Karabakh is not officially part of Armenia, it is not recognised as such by the UN and as a UN person I am not allowed officially to go there.  Yet it has all the hallmarks of Armenia including currency.

The current no war but no peace situation is hurting and economic and social development is held back by it.

So, all you peace makers and conciliators, here’s a challenge for you!

Peter Gay, Goris, April 2013 - You can email Peter here

Gateways to Growth initiative

Gateways to Growth initiative is an exciting cross border initiative delivered in partnership by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce and COMET Councils in Northern Ireland.

The programme will give over 150 businesses the opportunity to attend a Meet the Buyer Event in Belfast 26th June 2013 and sales and networking and business to business support workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch to Buyers such as Bombardier, Almac, Terex, Whale Water Systems, Valpar Industrial, Lagan Construction, Seagate Technology, ASDA, Graham Construction, Acheson & Glover, Andras House, Pramerica, Abbott Ireland, Glen Dimplex Ireland, Randox Teoranta, United Health Care Services, Zeus, G&S Stainless Services to name but a few.

Registration is now open - to receive an application form please visit our website - or contact Martina Crawford, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce on 028 90 244113.

Gateways to Growth has been awarded funding from the European Union's Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Following the announcement made today by Dr. Stephen Farry MLA, Minister for Employment and Learning, we are delighted to inform you that our Next Level Leadership programme is now 100% funded for eligible candidates!

Next Level Leadership comprises of three specific support options that can be accessed individually and are tailored to the needs of participants and the needs of their organisations:

L&M Essentials (leads to the Chartered Management Institute Award in Management) is a one day master-class covering core leadership and management knowledge, skills and behaviours and includes 15 hours guided learning & individual follow–up coaching:

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The Unleashing Potential Programme (Chartered Management Institute Certificate in Management) builds on the lessons learned in the Essentials Programmeand comprises of two x 1 day master classes covering core leadership and management capabilities together with the identification of potential improvement projects to implement within your organisation and 30 hours guided learning & individual follow–up coaching:- 

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The Maximizing Effectiveness Programme (Chartered Management Institute Diploma in Management) builds on the lessons learned in the Essentials Programme and Uleashing Potential Programme and comprises of three x 1 day master classes designed to maximize leadership and management capabilities together with practical implementation of improvement projects within your organisation and 135 hours guided learning & individual follow–up coaching:-

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Countdown on for Global India Week in Belfast
Belfast will celebrate and bolster its business and cultural links to India, when it hosts 'Global India Week' in the city this June.
Taking place from 22- 29 June, one of key events of this week will be a special business conference – the Horasis Global India Business Meeting.   
Around 300 business delegates from India and Asia have been invited to this prestigious conference as well as local businesses. Among the key speakers are Anand Sharma, the Minister of Commerce and Industry for the Government of India.
The conference will take place in the Europa Hotel but the international delegates will visit other venues in the city during their visit including the City Hall and Titanic Belfast.
Belfast City Council is co-hosting the Global India Business Meeting from 23-25 June alongside Horasis and conference partner Invest NI.
The council is also organising Global India Week from 22-29 June with a wider programme of events planned to highlight all aspects of Indian culture in Belfast from Indian dance, film and food.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Gavin Robinson said: "There are many major events to look forward to in Belfast this year but Global India Week is without doubt, among the highlights. This will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase Belfast and put it in the global map as well as bolstering our international trade and investment opportunities."
For more information on Global India Week, go to or contact Belfast City Council on 028 9027 0666.

running an online business - free training

Back by popular demand!

The CIDO "Running and Online Business Programme" will help you understand the basics of planning, implementing and measuring an online business.

The Programme will be run over 2 workshops covering the following topics:

Session One
• Setting Up Your Business
• What is the Opportunity?
• What is involved in running an Online Business?
• Resources required
• Understand the technology
• Making a fit with your Business Plan
• Setting your Objectives and Calls to Action
• Easy / Medium and Complex e-Commerce stores

Session Two
• Your Online Marketing Pie Chart
• Using Search Engines
• Direct Marketing
• Referral Marketing
• Managing your lists
• E-Mail Marketing
• Social Media
• Measurement
• Sample Campaign

When:        Friday 17th May & Friday 24th May
Where:      CIDO Innovation Centre
Time:         10am - 1pm
Cost:          FREE

To apply: e-mail or call 02838 396 520 requesting an application form

BorderBizcamp, Saturday 8th June 9.15am-4.30pm,
Monaghan M:tEK Building, Armagh Road, Monaghan.

If you shared the day with us last year, come and join us again. If you missed the day last year, definitely put this date in your diary 

Border Bizcamp is a very special business event - it's all about businesses supporting businesses in Monaghan and the border region. Its all about learning, business links.....and lovely food!! It's the kind of event which last year raised the business energy of all who attended and was a really positive reflection on business people who want to succeed in a can-do, supportive environment.

During the day-long event you will have a choice of speakers to listen to and learn from. Some will be there in person, and some will be utilising the advantages of modern technology and joining us by Skype from the USA. The organising team have been hard at work searching out speakers who are at the top of their game, who will inspire and who will share 30 minutes of their expertise and excellence in business, for the benefit of others in business or those thinking of starting in business.

This year we are proud to announce the first of our confirmed speakers:

Gary Vaynerchuk - co-founder and CEO of a social media brand consulting agency, video blogger, co-owner and director of operations of a wine retail store, and an author and public speaker on the subjects of social media, brand building and e-commerce joining us by Skype link. 

Neven Maguire - cook, author, TV presenter and chef, teacher, and food innovator. 

Una Fox - VP at Walt Disney Company Corporate Technology group with a specific focus on online marketing technologies, Brand Management and Customer Business Intelligence, organiser of LA Coder Dojo, passionate about getting more girls into technology.

George Mordaunt - MD of the Mordaunt Group (retail motor dealership), recession survivor, author and business support . 

The day is shaping up really well, so to be sure of having an opportunity to hear these powerful talks book early.

You can attend just to listen and learn from the expertise, experience and energy of a broad range of speakers contributing on a range of business themes.....or you can volunteer to speak yourself! Check out for the guidelines.

Oh and another this - it's FREE to attend.

If you would like to offer some sponsorship to this great event get in touch at

This event will be of interest to many so book early to guarantee a place. You can book your place early here. Looking forward to seeing you there.

BorderBizcamp 2013


For Northern Ireland specific contracts, there are a number of sources of information specifically for contracts within Northern Ireland. The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) handles contracts for a number of government departments. You can find a list of current tender opportunities on the CPD website. Again, there is no email alert facility that we can find which makes the content difficult to adapt to the Bulletin format.

Please see for the current list of Northern Ireland opportunities.

Provision of 12 bore breaching (MOE) shotguns
GB-Leamington Spa: Specialist Irrigation Services for the Installation of a New Irrigation System for bowling Greens
Dinnington – Surface water pumping station remedial works
Senior Attendance Centre Services
GB-Telford: Telford Town Park Mini Golf
Department for Business Innovation & Skills - Banking Services
GB-Telford: Warrior Seat Covering
New Sewage Treatment Plant
2957-2-Professional Services-SW-RFP Estates Related Legal Services
UK Companies Contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product
Certification Services
Proposed Contract for the design, supply, installation, maintenance, and removal of Christmas lighting displays for the Borough of Redditch and District of Bromsgrove Including Rubery
Executive Leasing/Management Expertise for Catering
Audit Services ICT
Q14 Yoke Assemblies
GB-London: Digital Asset Storage
Estates Legal Advice and Services
Standing list of suppliers to provide minor building works to residential dwellings - Home Improvement Agency Initiative
GB-East Grinstead: Occupational Health and Employee Assistance Programme
UK-Conwy: World wide web (www) site design services
UK-Nottingham: Point of sale (POS) software package
UK-Hertford: Educational software package
UK-Newcastle upon Tyne: Computer network services
UK-Leeds: Customer Relation Management software package
UK-Wakefield: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
UK-Grimsby: Added-value database services
UK-Colchester: Software package and information systems
UK-Glenrothes: Computer-related services
UK-Norwich: Technical computer support services
UK-Birmingham: Software package and information systems
Audit Services ICT
UK-Sheffield: Printed books, brochures and leaflets
UK-Stoke on Trent: Blood-transfusion devices
UK-Swindon: Catering services for transport enterprises
UK-Swindon: Building and facilities management services
Provision of HR Payroll Requirement Contract RM1361 SB133
UK-Durham: Software package and information systems
UK-London: Social research services
UK-Holywood: Data network management and support services
NO-RÃ¥dal: Construction work
UK-Gibraltar: Generators
NO-Oslo: Plumbing and sanitary works
NO-Mosjøen: Transformers
UK-Feltham: Building construction work
GB-Leamington Spa: Specialist Irrigation Services for the Installation of a New Irrigation System for bowling Greens
UK-Belfast: Electrical services
NO-Trondheim: Refuse skips
NO-Harstad: Pipeline, piping, pipes, casing, tubing and related items
UK-Swindon: Installation services (except software)
IRL-Dublin: Refurbishment work
UK-Guildford: Construction work for university buildings
NO-Tromsø: Site preparation work
NO-Lillehammer: Construction work for highways, roads
NO-Trondheim: Railway construction works
UK-Harrogate: Pathology services
UK-Belfast: Concrete products
UK-Middlesbrough: Street-lighting maintenance services
NO-Oslo: Construction work for pipelines, communication and power lines, for highways, roads, airfields and railways; flatwork
SE-Tanumshede: Wind-power installation works

The Centre for Cross Border Studies wishes to appoint a suitably qualified researcher or researchers with an expertise and knowledge of the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland economies to carry out five scoping studies  into aspects of the economy of the cross-border region as part of the ‘Towards a Border Development Zone’ research project:  an overarching strategy and structures paper, and  four sectoral studies on SMEs, Tourism and Recreation, Agriculture, Food and Fish Processing, and Low Carbon Initiatives.
Closing date for proposals is 15 May 2013. 

Further information >>

Belfast City Council Tenders are available at

First Edition Publications, The Technology Centre,
Townsend Enterprise Park, Townsend St., BELFAST BT13 2ES 

T 028 90435778 | M 07970430155 | | | SKYPE id: gi4cso

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