U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires briefs Irish Exporters on Market Diversification & Business Opportunities

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

Dublin, 30th May 2018: The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) in association with DHL Express, TransferMate and Bord Bia, this morning held the second in a series of market focused events for 2018 with an event titled: Market Diversification & Business Opportunities – A Focus on the USA. 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 Medley, Fleet Street, Dublin 2 with over 100 attendees from the export industry being briefed on the US market, existing collaboration between Ireland and US and the potential opportunities to grow and expand our trading relationship. The event included: an opening address from Reece Smyth, Chargé d’Affaires with the U.S. Embassy in Ireland who highlighted opportunities for Irish companies in the USA; industry case studies from Ornua and RelateCare; and in-market expertise from DHL Expressand TransferMate.

Opening address

  • Reece Smyth, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Ireland

Case studies

  • Ciara O’Callaghan, Brand Director, Ornua
  • Conor O’Byrne, CEO, RelateCare


  • Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association and Chairperson
  • Bernard McCarthy, Managing Director, DHL Express Ireland Limited
  • Joanne Howlin, VP of Growth, TransferMate Global Payments
  • Conor Kenny, Commercial Investment, SelectUSA, S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Embassy in Ireland

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: “Exports to the USA increased by 4% in 2017 and made up 27% of total Irish exports for the year. After the EU, the USA is Ireland’s largest trading partner and a considerable part of the exports are made up of pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals and optical/medical instruments. American business in Ireland is a significant driver of our economic growth. The IEA are seeing an increasing interest in the USA with 27% of members stating that they are looking to diversify to the USA as an export market in the next 6 months. The Irish Exporters Association is delighted to partner on this important initiative with DHL Express, Transfermate and Bord Bia and we are very pleased to have Reece Smyth, the Chargé d’Affaires with the U.S. Embassy in Ireland to give the opening address today. 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.”

Bernard McCarthy, Managing Director, DHL Express Ireland stated: “The US already accounts for close to 30% of Ireland’s goods exports and represents a great market for Irish companies.  And in DHL we can clearly see existing exporters growing their volume to the USA, whilst other companies are also diversifying and targeting the US market.  This trend is evident from the rise of more than 6% in DHL customers shipping to the USA in the first four months of 2018.  More impressive still is the 20% growth in shipment volume to the USA from DHL customers in Ireland – proof positive that our trading relationship with this key market continues to flourish.”

Joanne Howlin, VP of Growth, TransferMate Global Payments mentioned: “The digital economy has yielded many opportunities for businesses to grow and expand beyond domestic borders, yet the process of receiving payment from overseas customers remains a challenge. TransferMate Global Receivables offers exporters a faster seamless solution for collecting international payments, whilst providing access to highly competitive FX rates, eliminating intermediary fees and resolving reconciliation issues. With the US being a key growth market for TransferMate, we look forward to sharing learnings from our own market entry and how we can aid you in accessing this and other export markets.”

Padraig Brennan, Director of Markets, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board commented: “The United States is a key growth market for Irish food and drink exports with trade surpassing €1 billion for the first time in 2017, recording an increase of almost 30%. The US is a complex and rapidly evolving market and events like today’s workshop play an important role in helping exporters build their understanding”

The IEA Markets Network 2018 will consist of:

3 Seminars: Market specific large seminars will take place around the country with case studies from local exporters and expert advice on opportunities in markets looking at sectors, industries, regions, political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, eco-environment and legal considerations.

3 ‘How to develop an export strategy’ Training Days: These one day education programmes aim to assist companies in how to write and implement their own export strategy. Course modules include: Legal; Logistics; Professional Services; Finance; Risk; and International Marketing.

12 Webinars: Each 45 minute market specific online seminar which will include a briefing from an Irish Ambassador overseas or in market Ambassador, a case study by a company successfully trading in that market and also provide links to supports for Irish exporters.

5 E-zines: These newsletters will focus on specific markets and business opportunities, and reinforce content from webinars and seminars with online articles and case studies.