Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to the UK, France and Germany, took place on Monday, 6th September. The three-day trade mission, visiting London, Paris and Berlin, will support the accelerated export-led recovery of Irish businesses in the UK and Eurozone, Ireland’s closest markets.
The UK, France and Germany combined represent 39% of total Enterprise Ireland client exports in 2020, with over 2,300 Enterprise Ireland client companies exporting to these three markets.
This is the first in-person trade mission undertaken by Enterprise Ireland following the EU-UK Trade Agreement and following the onset of Covid-19.
Over the last 12 months, 95 companies have set up a new presence on the ground in the UK, French and German markets, representing a broad range of sectors including digital technology, life sciences, construction, fintech, energy and transport.
Across the three-days, the trade mission will be supporting the growth of 35 Enterprise Ireland client companies, engaged on the programme. Programme highlights include:
- UK – Highlighting the strength of the long-standing business relationship between Ireland and the UK, including an innovation exchange event with UK Local Authorities and roundtable events on insurance and health tech innovation.
- France – Meetings took place with Réseau de Transport d’Electricité and EirGrid, partners in the Celtic Interconnector project and representatives from Le Grand Paris project, the largest transport and infrastructure project in Europe focused on mobility, sustainability and urban development in the Ile de France region.
- Germany – Tánaiste formally launched Enterprise Ireland’s fourth Enter the Eurozone programme, in partnership with Berlin-based European School of Management and Technology (ESMT). Meetings will also take place with Europe’s leading healthcare provider, Helios Health and German mobility company TIER.
Leading the trade mission, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said:
Although not behind us, we must look to life after the pandemic and how we can rebuild. Like the previous economic crisis, trade will be crucial in helping us recover and reach full employment. The Government has invested to help businesses overcome the incredible challenges of the last 18 months, with Brexit and Covid-19, so that they can emerge from this difficult period, resilient and ready for future success. This trip will be about strengthening opportunities for Irish SMEs exporting to the U.K., France and Germany, looking at how we can build on what is already there and diversify into new markets. It will also be about how we can encourage investors to seek out Ireland as a location for further FDI, given all we have to offer.
It’s the first trade mission to the U.K. since the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and my first as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. I’m looking forward to it. Ireland will always be close with our nearest neighbour.
Leading the trade mission for Enterprise Ireland, Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said:
As economies rebound and reopen and international travel resumes, Enterprise Ireland is delighted to accompany An Tánaiste on this trade mission to support Irish exporters accelerate their business growth internationally. Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit, Enterprise Ireland client exports remained steady in 2020, achieving exports of €25.48bn. Our ambition for 2021 is to support the delivery of an export-led recovery, returning export growth to pre-pandemic levels.
The UK and the Eurozone are strategically important markets for Irish exporters, with new business opportunities emerging for Irish companies. Combined, the UK and Eurozone represented 52% of total client exports in 2020, with exports of €13.35bn. Enterprise Ireland’s ten offices across the UK and Eurozone markets are there to support Irish companies as they expand their reach into these markets and accelerate an export-led recovery for Irish business.
IDA Ireland Executive Director Mary Buckley, who will accompany An Tánaiste to meetings with the parent companies of IDA Ireland’s existing and target clients said:
I really welcome this opportunity to meet with our corporate clients again while accompanying the Tánaiste on this first in-person trade mission post Brexit. Competition for foreign investment has never been as intense and trade missions like this help IDA Ireland to increase awareness of Ireland’s offering and why it is an attractive place to invest. This mission to the UK, France and Germany builds relationships with new clients to generate investment in Ireland and is a welcome opportunity to deepen relationships with the parent companies of our existing clients.