British small business leaders descend on Dublin

Go Global highlights the benefits of exporting to Ireland...

The opportunities Ireland presents for small British businesses looking to increase their exports will be showcased over the next two days.

The first of Go Global's five trade missions around the world in 2016 landed in the capital this afternoon, bringing entrepreneurs from 40 companies on a tour of the city to explore a potentially lucrative new market.

It shows that, despite Brexit concerns hanging in the air, the country remains an enticing prospect across the Irish Sea.

This mission is specifically focused on companies in the food and drink industries, allowing exporters to meet buyers and potential partners, and research the market here in general.

Enterprise Nation, which is involved in the mission, notes that:

"The Republic of Ireland is a significant trading partner of the UK and is an obvious and conveniently located market for British companies looking to sell goods and services abroad.

"Ireland has a well-developed infrastructure and many similar legal and other business structures to the UK. With English as a shared language and many cultural and business ties, it makes a lot of sense to consider the Irish market as a destination for UK exports.

"In fact Ireland is already one of the UK's largest trading partners and buys more British goods and services than countries such as China or Brazil".

Today, entrepreneurs will visit the European headquarters of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Friday will find them meeting KPMG to learn about the best models for entering the Irish market, hear a presentation from New Convent Garden Soup Company founder John Stapleton and visit Diageo to learn about the history of Guinness.

The trip will be documented on this live blog.