Exporters briefed by Ambassador of France to Ireland on Market Diversification & Business Opportunities

Irish Exporters Association’s Markets Network initiative in association with DHL Express, TransferMate and Bord Bia

Dublin, 14th March 2018: The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) in association with DHL Express, TransferMate and Bord Bia, this morning commenced the first in a series of market focused events for 2018 with an event titled: Market Diversification & Business Opportunities, A Focus On: France.

The IEA Markets Network is made up of a series of seminars, training workshops, webinars and market focused content which will be issued to IEA members to support their international growth and development strategies. This morning’s seminar took place at The Alex Hotel, Dublin 2 with over 65 attendees from the export industry being briefed on the French market, existing collaboration between Ireland and France and the potential opportunities to grow and expand our trading relationship. The event included: a keynote address from H.E. Stéphane Crouzat, Ambassador of France to Ireland, who highlighted French opportunities for Irish exporters; an industry case study from Dawn Farms; and in-market expertise from DHL Express, TransferMate and Bord Bia.

Keynote address

  • E. Stéphane Crouzat, French Ambassador to Ireland, French Embassy in Ireland

Case study

  • Ian Cullen, Senior Business Development Manager Europe, Dawn Farms


  • Brian Murphy, Head of Trade Services, Irish Exporters Association and Chairperson
  • Brian Murray, Commercial Director, DHL Express Ireland Limited
  • Joanne Howlin, VP of Growth, TransferMate Global Payments
  • David Kennedy, International Markets Manager, Bord Bia

The IEA Markets Network is aimed at supporting exporters to access overseas market opportunities and educate them to better understand the opportunities and challenges as they explore, enter or expand overseas. The format of events will include knowledge briefings with Irish Ambassador’s overseas and Ambassadors in Ireland, as well as case studies, to provide the export community with insights into business opportunities in specific markets.

Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association commented: “The Irish Exporters Association is delighted to partner on this new initiative with DHL Express, Transfermate and Bord Bia and we are very pleased to have the French Ambassador to Ireland participate in our first seminar. Last year was a record year for the Irish export industry with the highest annual total on record. Supporting and training companies in how to diversify their export markets is critical this year given the uncertain future we face with our biggest single trading partner.

According to CSO trade figures, Irish exports to France increased by nearly 5% last year. The IEA are seeing an increasing interest in companies looking to diversify their export markets given the possible ramifications of trading in a post-Brexit environment. 23% of IEA members surveyed in January this year are looking at France to diversify their export markets in the next 6 months. The IEA Markets Network is a knowledge sharing network that will help companies to understand the opportunities that lie in new markets, as well as give them practical advice on how to get there.

For 2018, the IEA have refined our service and training offering to support the industry given the potential changes coming down the line with Brexit. We currently offer an extensive range of training including Brexit for your Supply Chain which gives each participant clear guidance on customs procedures and documentation in a post-Brexit scenario.”

Brian Murray, Commercial Director, DHL Express stated: “DHL Express are delighted to be partnering with the Irish Exporters Association on this exciting new initiative to support Irish exporters expand and diversify into new markets. While Brexit has brought certain challenges for Irish businesses there are many opportunities outside the UK. According to a recent survey 63% of European purchasing managers are looking to change from sourcing goods in the UK back into the EU. France is one of the largest markets in the EU and at DHL Express we’re seeing export volumes increase by 17% into this key market, which is a positive sign that Irish companies are already targeting this market successfully.”

Sinead Fitzmaurice, Co-Founder and CFO, TransferMate Global Payments mentioned: “Converting international sales to cash efficiently, affordably, securely and in a timely manner is a universal problem which unites exporters worldwide in frustration. We enable Irish exporters to both send and receive funds globally, cheaper, faster and more transparently than traditional B2B payment methods, through our proprietary technology, global regulatory footprint, and worldwide banking rails.”

David Kennedy, International Markets Manager, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board commented: “Irish manufacturers exported a record €12.6bn of food and drink to over 180 markets worldwide in 2017. France accounted for €821m of this trade making it Ireland’s 5th largest export market overall and most important for seafood and lamb. In the context of Brexit many Irish food and drink exporters are looking with increased focus at continental markets like France, with annual grocery sales valued at an estimated €222bn, and where consumers will pay a premium for high quality sustainably produced food and drink as an attractive export destination. Bord Bia, with our long-standing presence in Paris, is delighted to partner on this initiative and is here to support food and drink exporters in their drive develop relationships in France.”