• Exporters turn to Microsoft

    #1 exporter off the island of Ireland hosts Africa focused seminar on technology and communications

    Over 60 Irish exporters set to target Africa from ICT sector

    Dublin, 29th September 2015: The Irish Exporters Association’s Africa Business Forum this morning held a breakfast seminar on technology and communications at Microsoft, the largest exporting company by turnover according to the Irish Exporters Association Top 250 publication released last week. The Africa Business Forum is an initiative of the Irish Exporters Association and partners PwC and Emerald Freight Express.

    The event attracted 60 exporters and service providers and who came together for best practice examples and an overview on the practical issues facing companies seeking to increase trade with Africa and how technology and communications can help them. The seminar included case studies and presentations from Microsoft, Barclays and BCM Business Cost Management and provided examples of doing business in the African markets.

    Ambassador Paramente Phamotse from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho attended as well as representatives from the Embassy of Nigeria and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Sean Finlay, Chairman of the Africa Business Forum commented: “A recent report by Barclays outlines the significant potential for Irish exporters in sub-Saharan Africa. The Barclays Africa Trade Index reveals that trade between Ireland and Africa grew by 43% to €1.4 Bn over five years to 2013. The Barclays Report identified five “sleeping giant” economies – Ethiopia, DR Congo, Mozambique, Ghana and Tanzania – as key targets for growth.

    IEA acknowledges the generous sharing of experience by Microsoft, Ireland’s leading exporter, BCM and Barclays at today’s Seminar.

    Also addressing the event, Cian Watson, Manager, PwC Africa Business Group, commented: “PwC’s 2015 CEO Pulse survey revealed that just under a third (31%) of Irish CEO respondents said that their main opportunity for business growth in the year ahead is in existing and foreign markets.  While we have over 80 Irish companies here today targeting Africa as a marketplace, there may be scope for many more Irish companies to beat the drum for Africa.  And Budget 2016 may be an opportunity to look at introducing and further enhancing measures to help Irish companies explore the opportunities in Africa.  For example reviewing the withholding tax regime to include some of the ‘different’ African withholding taxes and widening the Foreign Earnings Deduction (‘FED’) regime to include more of the African countries”.

    ENDS