TWO North-East firms have visited the United Arab Emirates to boost business in the Middle-East.

Bosses from the International Fire Training Centre (IFTC), operated by Serco at Durham Tees Valley Airport, and Newcastle-based security lighting firm Advanced Led Technology have taken part in the Intersec exhibition in Dubai.

The fire and security event attracted 170 businesses, with firms looking to take advantage of work in the aerospace sector.

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Gary Watson, IFTC business operations manager, said: “The centre has a history of training firefighters from various Middle-Eastern airports.

“Serco has been investing heavily in new equipment, technology and resources at IFTC to further enhance the overall customer experience, and Intersec provides the perfect opportunity to showcase these capabilities and meet customers.”

Keith Fenwick, Advanced Led Technology managing director, added: “We regard the Middle-East as a very important export market.”

The companies were joined by Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable, who visited the region as part of UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) target to increase trade with the United Arab Emirates to £12bn by 2015.

Dr Cable said: “Growth remains our country's top priority. “Encouraging firms to export more to emerging economies has formed a key part of the Government's industrial strategy, helping us stay ahead of the competition in key sectors where we are global leaders.

“UK exports of goods to the United Arab Emirates were up 11 per cent until September last year, generating more than £6bn.”

In Abu Dhabi, Dr Cable also attended the World Future Energy Summit to promote the UK's interests in oil and technologies.