Enterprise Ireland looks beyond the UK

Unveils one of its most extensive ever trade mission programmes...

Enterprise Ireland looks beyond the UK

A mock customs post is set up at Ravensdale, Co Louth, as anti-Brexit campaigners hold a go-slow protest on the main road between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to highlight concerns about the impact on trade. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Enterprise Ireland has announced one of its most extensive calendars of trade support for Irish exporters as it prepares to help companies navigate the potentially treacherous Brexit waters.

The 2017 programme will involve 145 separate events here and abroad – one-third of those (46) will be minister-led trade missions with a particular focus on Eurozone and North American markets.

As well as those missions, the full programme will include inward buyer visits, market study visits, international trade fairs, Embassy events and knowledge seminars. It will all serve to give Irish companies the opportunity to network with potential buyers in markets in Europe, North America, Africa, India, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.

Breaking the schedule down, there will be:

  • 20 trade events to North America to include a multi-sector trade mission to the USA and Canada and digital technologies trade visit to the USA.
  • 22 trade events to Northern Europe to include the ‘Nor Shipping’ trade event to Norway; ‘Medica’ lifesciences trade event in Germany and the Paris Air Show aviation trade event.
  • 14 trade events to the UK to include ‘Digital Construction’ and ‘UK Financial Services’ trade events.
  • 20 trade events to the Asia Pacific region to include a financial services and fintech trade mission.

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor welcomed the news, stating:

“The Action Plan for Jobs 2017 gives a clear mandate to Enterprise Ireland to drive the global ambition of Irish companies, particularly in the context of Brexit, and to set their sights further afield and power the economy through strong positions in diverse export markets.”

Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, said:

"I am acutely conscious of the importance of minister-led trade missions in terms of securing high level access for Irish companies seeking to grow their businesses overseas and increase jobs at home. Our 80-strong network of embassies and consulates fulfil a vital role in cooperation with Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in supporting such missions.

"The complex challenges presented by Brexit had given renewed impetus to Ireland's trade diversification drive and these trade missions are an important element of our response to Brexit."

Enteprise Ireland's CEO Julie Sinnamon said:

“In line with the ‘Ireland Connected’ whole of government trade strategy launched recently, a key element of Enterprise Ireland’s 2017-2020 strategy is to help Irish exporters build scale and expand reach globally.

"As the UK takes a step closer to triggering article 50 in the coming weeks, it is imperative that Irish companies build new and stronger trade links in international markets. The 2017 trade mission schedule targets key sectors in high potential growth markets and aims to open doors for Irish companies to create opportunities to start negotiations and win significant business contracts in overseas markets.”