• National Export Hub briefs Cork SMEs on Brexit

    No Reproduction Fee Irish Exporters Association National Export Campaign, Cork. 29/11/16 Pic John Sheehan

    Cork, 29th November 2016: The Irish Exporters Association’s National Export Hub this morning held a breakfast seminar which attracted over 90 delegates to the Radisson Blu, Little Island, Co. Cork. 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:

    • Neil Holland, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Dublin
    • John McCarthy, Managing Director, MacB
    • Bernard McCarthy, Managing Director, DHL Express Ireland
    • Mark Fitzharris, Head of AIB Cork City

    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.

    Neil Holland, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Dublin stated: “The trading relationship between the UK and Ireland is of great importance to both countries.  The UK is Ireland’s biggest export market, and Ireland is the fifth biggest market for UK exports.  The UK government is committed to working with our Irish friends and partners to both maximise the trade between us and build on and develop further the close links between us across all areas of co-operation.”

    John McCarthy, Managing Director of MacB stated: “MacB Ltd has identified export markets, primarily in Central Europe, as a key element of our growth strategy. Our key customers in the Engineering and Automotive sectors are investing heavily in that region and this presents us with significant opportunities.

    We have received invaluable support from Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Exporters Association in establishing a support network in export markets. This has allowed us to maintain the high level of service demanded by our customers.”

    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. 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.”

    Mark Fitzharris, Head of AIB Cork City said: “AIB is delighted to be part of the National Export Hub as it gives exporters an insight into what they can expect on their export journey. This insight is hugely valuable to SMEs whether they are new to exporting or looking to enter new markets. Cork is such an important location for Irish exports and we have a strong team of Export Finance Champions in place who are on hand to provide SMEs with access to practical export-related information, support and guidance as well as comprehensive export finance solutions.”

    Dean O’Brien, Country Manager, Euler Hermes Ireland, said: “Foreign trade is a cornerstone of the Irish economy but exporting does come with risk, especially for businesses offering credit terms. Two thirds of claims against the €15 billion of turnover insured by Euler Hermes for Irish companies come from exports.

    With Brexit and so much other uncertainty in the world there is a risk that economic slowdown and deteriorating payment behaviour for companies in the UK and elsewhere will increase late payment and insolvency risks in Ireland. Strong credit management checks and balances can significantly reduce risk of non-payment.”

    Ger O’Mahoney, Advisory Partner, PwC Cork, said: “Based on what our clients are telling us and our surveys of CEOs and Finance Directors, Irish business leaders are more cautious about the outlook for the year ahead compared to this time last year. However, they remain positive about growth opportunities while tackling the business disrupters. Brexit looms large and along with a new political leader in the US, a changing tax agenda and other geo-political uncertainties, we will no doubt see a period of change. CEOs are looking to manage their businesses in an increasingly volatile external environment. While the years ahead may be more challenging, particularly for exporters, there are also opportunities for new markets and new ways of doing business. I would advise all of our exporters to stay close to their customers, ensure that they have done their sensitivity analysis in terms of margins, seek to have an appropriate hedging strategy.”



    For more information contact:

    Fiona Burke, Communications, Events & Public Affairs Officer, Irish Exporters Association
    T: 01 6424171
    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.