• Irish Exporters continue to look to the Asian Markets

    The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) continues to look at opportunities across the Asian markets and this morning announced details of its Asia Trade Forum (ATF) 2015 Programme of Activities. The programme was launched by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., at the offices of ESB International and aims to promote and increase the levels of trade between Irish businesses and Asia and with a spirit of collaboration, to promote stronger links amongst government and business in the region.
    The Asia Trade Forum provide a network for exporters across all sectors to interact and exchange information on best practice and market insight. The 2015 programme will involve a series of seminars on ‘Doing business in Asia’, and supporting mentoring programmes that are run in conjunction University College Dublin, and the University of Limerick where marketing plans are prepared for Irish companies with potential to expand to Asia.

    The ATF is also very engaged with the East Asian School of Business within UCC which is providing talented graduates educated in the culture, practices and languages necessary for us to succeed in Asia in the long term.

    The ATF, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Etihad, FCm Travel Solutions and Ulster Bank.

    Speaking at the launch, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan T.D., said:  “Increasing exports is both a key goal of this Government and a key driver of growth for the Irish economy. Asia, which is home to one third of the world’s population and contains a rapidly growing middle class, is of growing importance to export-oriented Irish businesses. I welcome the Irish Exporters Association engagement in the region. Government is supporting Irish businesses in Asia in a wide variety of ways including ministerial-led trade missions and the opening of new resident Embassies in Thailand and Indonesia and a new Consulate General in Hong Kong in the last year.  Ireland now has Embassies in all of the Asian priority markets identified by the Government’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy.”

    He added: “We recognise the crucial support embassies can provide to businesses in making connections and fostering relationships with key stakeholders and finding business opportunities as well as coordinating the work of our own State agencies overseas. To this end and have established local market teams led by the Ambassador and including representatives of the State agencies in all of our nine priority Asian markets. We are determined to sustain the excellent reputation of Irish business abroad. Our thriving export sector is critical to our growing economy and to delivering the government’s plan for full employment by 2018.”

    John Nevin, Chairman of the Asia Trade Forum commented: The 2015 programme of activities focuses on improved collaboration between state agencies, bilaterals and our business partners to build on what is already a succesful base from which to build. The ATF is calling  on the Government for the appointmentent of a Minister of State for Asia to bring greater cohesion to our efforts so as to fully levearage off the resources that are already in place. With 90% of future world economic growth coming from outside of Europe we need to stay absolutely focused on emerging markets.

    Ollie Brogan, Managing Director of ESB International stated: ESB International are celebrating 40 years in international business and are proud to host the Asia Trade Forum and welcome Minister Charlie Flanagan into our offices in Dublin.

    David Byrne, Manager High Growth Markets, Enterprise Ireland said: Enterprise Ireland is delighted to sponsor the Asia Trade Forum. The series of ATF events throughout the year will highlight opportunities for Irish companies to grow exports in a number of important high growth markets.

    Valerie Metcalfe, Managing Director, FCm Travel Solutions commented: FCm is proud to sponsor the IEA’s Asia Trade Forum for the third year in a row.  Supporting Irish Exporters is a priority for FCm, in the last 12 months alone business travel to the APAC region has increased by 28% amongst our client base.  While it is acknowledged that investing in travel is essential for successful business relations, the cost and associated complexities, such as visas, can often be a deterrent.  Businesses are increasingly choosing a managed travel programme to ensure efficiency and budget control.  More recently there has been a notable shift in emphasis towards Duty of Care, as trade grows overseas, travel risk management has emerged as a top priority.



    For Further information contact:      

    Marta Marin, Bilateral Associations Assistant, Irish Exporters Association
    T: 01 642 4170
    E: asiatradeforum@irishexporters.ie

    Notes to editors:

    Pictures have been sent to the picture desk

    About the Asia Trade Forum:

    The Asia Trade Forum was initiated in 2012 to promote two-way trade between Ireland and Asia.  To date it has involved:

    • Organising and leading business visits to India; China; Malaysia.  Supporting and promoting Enterprise Ireland missions.
    • Information seminars and networking opportunities for Irish businesses interested in and with potential to export to Asia.
    • Mentoring programmes with students in UCD, UCC and UL.
    • On-going support to companies in the area of customs and regulatory issues.
    • Connecting new Irish exporters with other Irish businesses already operating in Asia.
    • Acting as a co-ordinating structure for the various bilateral organisations operating in this field.



    Plans for 2015 include:

    • Business visits – These will build on the previous visits and our experience will allow us to further promote and develop our activities on both trips.
    • Sector based information seminars exploring the potential for key export sectors (food and drink; ICT; life sciences) in the Asian markets with companies already active sharing their experiences.
    • Roundtable events to contribute to policy development.
    • On-going engagement with UCD, UCC and UL.
    • Receiving inward delegations from Asia; facilitating B2B meetings with member companies to explore potential for collaboration and investment.


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