A FAMOUS North-East engineering firm has given an insight the North-East’s export expertise.

Scott Wightman, UK ambassador to the Republic of Korea, and Sungnam Lim, the Republic of Korea’s ambassador to the UK, visited Darlington’s Whessoe Engineering to strengthen trade relationships.

Since becoming part of the Samsung Group, Whessoe, which was rescued from the brink of collapse a year ago, has secured deals to design massive storage tanks across the world.

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Its order book includes work on a 90,000m3 liquefied natural gas storage tank on the islet of Revithoussa, in the Gulf of Megara, west of Athens.

Steve Kim, Whessoe chief executive, said: “It was a real honour to demonstrate the progress our companies have made and to seek their input into our growth plans in Darlington for the future.”

The trip, organised by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), also saw the ambassadors meet representatives of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Unlimited Local Enterprise Partnership.

Mr Wightman said: “These Korean investments in the North-East demonstrate how the growing partnership between the UK and Korea is creating jobs and new export opportunities.

“It was exciting to meet so many companies determined to grow their businesses through exporting.”

David Coppock, UKTI regional director, added: “By enlisting the support of ambassadors we can help promote North-East businesses in more markets.”