Founder and chairman of Delta Print and Packaging in west Belfast, Terry Cross, has said remaining in the EU is the best means of ensuring Northern Ireland business can expand.
Mr Cross, whose company is set to make a major investment announcement in Poland later this week, has grown Delta from a small shop on Cliftonville Road into a major international player.
Still based in west Belfast where it employs 250 people, the company makes packaging for international companies like KFC, Kellogg's, Jacob's, Greiner and McDonald's.
Outside Northern Ireland, the company employs thousands in India, China, Poland and France.
Almost all the company's sales are made overseas, with its most important markets being France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Scandinavia.
This week Delta is set to announce further details of a major expansion in Poland.
The firm, operating as European Packaging Solutions Poland, has built a new production plant in Gliwice, where it will supply folding and nested carton products to major European brands.
Last year the company announced it was creating 100 jobs in west Belfast, prompted by its growth in international markets.
Speaking during a lunch with the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Cross said global expansion was critical to preserving business at home.
"Jobs may be created outside Northern Ireland, but these only go towards enhancing the operation here. We have to be global to survive and Belfast benefits from this internationalism."
And he said he supported staying in the EU. "The EU was set up for noble reasons, prevention of future wars and freedom of movement. But without this freedom of movement many of us would be out of business," he said. "We simply cannot afford to leave the EU."
Earlier this month a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that 54% of small businesses in Northern Ireland would vote in favour of staying in the EU if the vote was held at the present time.
A vote is expected to be held before the end of 2017.