Irish Exporters Association and the German-Irish Chamber highlight business opportunities in Germany

Dublin, 14th March 2017: The Irish Exporters Association (IEA), and the German-Irish Chamber of Industry & Commerce, this morning collaborated on an event titled Diversifying Export Markets: A Focus on Germany.

Over 50 exporters and service providers attended this event to be informed about opportunities for doing business with Germany, including Taxation, Co. Formation, Permanent Establishment & Labour. Attendees heard from experts on German-Irish trade and case studies of companies currently exporting to German markets. A lively panel discussion led by Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association took place on industry opportunities and challenges in exporting to Germany.


  • Ronan Harbison, Commercial Director, German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • Patrick Bamming, Project Manager Tax, German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association

Case Studies – Industry Speakers

  • Michael Giunee, Owner, Ei Electronics
  • Orlaith Sweeney, Export Sales Manager, Keogh’s Crisps

Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association commented: “In 2016, Germany represented nearly 7% of total Irish exports, an increase of 5% year-on-year. Ireland’s biggest exports to Germany include medical & pharmaceutical products (28%) and machinery & transport equipment (26%). In a recent survey with members of the IEA, 58% said that they are planning to diversify their export markets following the UK referendum on membership and 22% said that they were going to target Germany as an export market -second only to the focus on the USA. Ireland has a very small market size and Germany is a huge market of interest to Irish exporters given its scale and close relationship with Ireland. We are delighted to be partnering with the German-Irish Chamber of Industry & Commerce on this event as it is imperative that we inform exporters on the opportunities that lie in the German markets and these events strengthen the close bi-lateral trade relationship between Ireland and Germany.”

Speaking at the event Ronan Harbison, Commercial Director, German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce said: “There has always been strong Irish-German business links between the two countries, and this trade has grown further since Ireland’s joining of the EU in the 1970’s.  The Chamber is the German Government’s Trade and Industry Office here in Ireland, responsible for fostering trade relationships bi-laterally.  With the effects of BREXIT already being felt in Ireland, it is ever more important for Irish exporting companies to diversify into its closest market – Europe – and especially Germany, being the largest market in the Union. The Chamber is very happy to partner with the IEA, to showcase the business opportunities Irish exporters have in Germany and the tools and services they can avail of through our consulting wing, DEinternational Ireland.”       

Furthermore, Patrick Bamming, Chartered Tax Adviser with DEinternational Ireland highlighted: “The OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) project proposed a change to the definition of a Permanent Establishment. Should Ireland adopt the proposed changes it might have the following complications:

  • Loss of tax revenue
  • Additional compliance cost to companies due to permanent establishments in other countries
  • Lack of competitiveness for Ireland if other countries do not adopt the changes”

Furthermore Patrick drew attention to additional compliance issues due to recently introduced regulations regarding workers posted within the EU and the applicable PAYE reliefs when posting workers to other countries.

Irish companies operating in Germany may also have additional VAT refund opportunities, as VAT is refunded on costs like petrol, hotel and car hire, unlike in Ireland.