Brian McConville, founder and Chair of MJM Group based in Newry is one of two business leaders from Northern Ireland set to join Prime Minister Teresa May on her first official Trade Mission to China to build on existing strong ties between the two countries.

A delegation of 50 businesses will travel with the Prime Minister, Philip May and International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox on the visit.

The inclusion of Brian McConville in the delegation comes just days after MJM Group completed its first drydock project in China refitting Star Pisces, on behalf of Star Cruises.

The multi-million pound contract included work in 15 separate areas across five decks of the Star Pisces with the transformation of casinos, restaurants and retail areas. MJM Group is currently reviewing other refit projects in China.

Brian McConville said, “I am delighted to have been invited to join the Prime Minister on this trade mission. Our recent drydock contract in China with Star Cruises, the leading cruise company in Asia-Pacific was an exciting milestone for us. As an emerging market in the cruise industry, we believe China has an untapped potential for us and indeed we are currently reviewing other projects in this market.

“I look forward to meeting new and existing contacts on this visit and also to promoting Northern Ireland. We have recently announced the refit contract of the Azamara Pursuit, which is our first in Belfast. We are taking this project to Harland & Wolff and we believe it will be a game-changer for the refit market in Northern Ireland. As well as looking at the potential of drydock projects in China, it is very important for us, on these trips, to promote opportunities to do business in Northern Ireland.”

Prime Minister, Theresa May, said, “Thanks to the drive and innovation of UK business, backed by this Government, trade between the UK and China is already at record levels.

“This visit is an opportunity to further showcase the best of what we do and boost jobs and prosperity throughout the UK. I am proud to lead such a varied and strong delegation to China.”

A representative from Rooney Fish, Kilkeel, County Down will join Brian McConville in representing Northern Ireland. Other delegates include blue chip public companies, education establishments, representatives from the technology and automotive sectors and a number of business organisations.

MJM Group is a leading global fitout company specialising in the marine sector. Brian McConville also owns internationally renowned contract and fit-out business Mivan as well as a range of commercial and retail businesses.