• National Export Hub briefs Dublin SMEs on Brexit


    Dublin, 17th October 2016: The Irish Exporters Association’s National Export Hub this morning held a breakfast seminar which attracted over 70 delegates to the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan. The event, run by the National Export Hub, an initiative created by the Irish Exporters Association and supported by ABP Food Group, AIB, DHL, Euler Hermes and PwC, and collaborators: Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this morning briefed attendees on industry opportunities and challenges for first time and early stage exporters around internationalising their business. The event included a lively panel discussion led by Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association on the implications of Brexit to Irish SMEs.

    Event speakers:

    • H.E. Robin Barnett, British Ambassador to Ireland
    • Sarah O’Connor, Co-founder, Cool Beans
    • John O’Loughlin, Customs & International Trade Director, PwC

    This event offered an opportunity to learn about the range of supports available from the Irish Exporters Association, Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, interact with sponsors and partners of this initiative who all provide leading edge guidance, and in many cases, specific products to support exporters as they prepare for their initial export journey, support them to grow and develop in existing markets or enter new markets.

    Speaking at the event today, Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association commented: “This is the second year of the National Export Hub and we are delighted that it has been a resounding success. This initiative enables and empowers small and first time exporters to grow their business through exporting. With a population of just 4.5 million, Irish businesses who want to grow their consumer base have no choice but to export, and we are here to support them on their journey. In order for a company to expand they need to open themselves up to new markets and, historically, the UK has been a first stepping stone for small companies to teach them how to export and expand. Given the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership, this trade relationship may possibly get a lot more complicated, so initiatives like the National Export Hub are going to be paramount going forward to educate companies, start them on their export journey and help them to grow and develop. The IEA look forward to continuing the great work that has been achieved to date with the partners of the National Export Hub.”

    H.E. Robin Barnett, British Ambassador to Ireland, speaking at the event commented: “The UK is an obvious first time export market for Irish businesses. With a strong economy, large domestic marketplace, excellent infrastructure and world class innovation, companies should look to the UK -its nearest neighbour- to start exporting and increase profitability. The UK is a great trading nation and we look forward to continuing to grow trade between our two islands.”

    Sarah O’Connor, Co-founder of Cool Beans and participant of the National Export Hub initiative stated: “The National Export Hub series of events are a great way to get real life experience and advice from other companies who have gone before you on their export journey, you can hear about challenges, successes, mistakes and learnings which will in turn help you reassess and strengthen your own export plan. We are excited to speak about our journey with Cool Beans, share tips and talk about our future growth and export plans.”

    John O’Loughlin, Customs & International Trade Director at PwC stated: “It’s inevitable that Brexit is going to have significant impact on our Irish based importers and exporters. Aside from currency issues, what that impact will be will be largely dependent on the form of the trade negotiations between the UK and EU, and their timing. While recognising that Brexit is bringing a lot of uncertainty, from a trade perspective, there is a certain level that can certainly be planned for now. This planning can come in the form of the re-characterisation of trade to/from the UK and the direct and indirect costs that this change will bring together with understanding the regulatory landscape in which companies are operating. We’ve found that companies have been slow in assessing impact, however, this analysis is something that shouldn’t be delayed.”


    Notes to Editors:

    Photos will be issued to picture desks by Lensmen Photography

    T: 01 8197738 / 087 2584388

    E: info@lensmen.ie


    For more information, contact:

    Fiona Burke, Communications, Events & Public Affairs Officer, Irish Exporters Association

    T: 01 6424171 / 087 646 1291

    E: fionaburke@irishexporters.ie

    The National Export Hub (NEH):

    The National Export Hub, an initiative created by the Irish Exporters Association and supported by ABP Food Group, AIB, DHL, Euler Hermes and PwC, and collaborators: Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is based at the Irish Exporters Association and works with exporting businesses to help them identify export opportunities and assist them on their export journey. The NEH helps companies to identify and connect with the appropriate supports acting as a signpost to the partners and various government and private sector assistance available to build SME export competence nationally, increase awareness amongst SMEs around the benefits and challenges of exporting; and bring a range of key private and public sector supports together under one campaign.

    The NEH assists companies to grow by increasing their exports whether by exporting for the first time, increasing exports to existing markets or by opening a new export market by:

    • Assisting companies through events, introductions and referrals to the sponsors, commercial service providers, government and government agencies, and through signposting the various schemes and supports available; and
    • Increasing the infrastructure of support available to all potential Irish Exporters.

    About the Irish Exporters Association:

    The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) assists its members to grow their exports to world markets. We drive and support the growth and development of all exporting businesses based in Ireland by:

    • Representation – leading the export agenda as the voice of Irish exporters
    • Member development – enhancing the export knowledge and skillset of members through a range of training services and export development programmes
    • Networking & Connectivity – connecting our members with government and business stakeholders domestically and in market
    • Export Services – enabling our members with practical assistance and critical support services

    The IEA represent the whole spectrum of companies within the export industry including SME’s who are beginning to think about exporting for the first time right through to global multinational companies who are already extensively exporting from Ireland. It is the connecting force for Irish exporters, providing practical knowledge and support across the Island of Ireland and in foreign markets.