Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, will commence a five-day joint Enterprise Ireland / IDA Ireland trade mission to Singapore and Japan today (Monday 25th September 2017).
The objectives of the trade mission include; supporting participating Irish companies to further their relationships with new and existing customers in Singapore and Japan, deepening relationships with existing IDA clients to secure further investments for Ireland, positioning Ireland as a post-Brexit solution for Asian companies, and promoting the potential of EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, particularly from a ‘new opportunities for Irish companies’ perspective.
An Tánaiste will have bilateral meetings with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, during which she will underline Ireland’s commitment to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, exchange views on the global and regional impact of Brexit on trade, and outline the opportunities for Singaporean firms to expand their markets in the EU using Ireland as a hub.
A number of the Enterprise Ireland client companies participating on the trade mission will announce partnerships and new business in the market.
During her visit to Japan, An Tánaiste will highlight the opportunities for Ireland arising from the EU Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Last year saw growth of 19% in Enterprise Ireland client exports to Japan with further strong growth projected.
Speaking prior to her departure, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD said: “I am delighted to be leading this trade and investment mission to Singapore and Japan. Trade Missions are vital in helping us expand into new and emerging markets across the world. Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, I am working closely with the agencies in my Department who have intensified their efforts on increasing the export market penetration and diversification of Irish companies into alternative markets.”
“This visit will strengthen our existing economic ties with Singapore and Japan and raise awareness of what Ireland can offer, both as a potential location for companies from the Asia-Pacific region and as a source of high-quality, innovative products and services. I look forward to engaging with key decision makers at the highest levels in Government and industry to promote Ireland as a source of world-class products and services across the healthcare, engineering, education, aerospace and digital sectors.”
Exports from Irish companies to Singapore are increasing and now many of these wish to push further into Asia.
Speaking prior to her departure for Singapore, Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland said, “This mission is one of over 40 international trade visits planned for this year as part of Enterprise Ireland’s effort to grow our total client exports to €26Bn by 2020. The Asia-Pacific region delivered double-digit growth with an impressive 16% year-on-year gain making it the second-fastest growing region for our clients in 2016. This trade mission, with 60 participating Enterprise Ireland clients, is designed to build on that growth and increase our clients global reach winning more lucrative export business in Japan and the ASEAN region. As Singapore is the gateway to the wider Asia-Pacific region, Enterprise Ireland is delighted to be expanding our resources in Singapore over the coming months to further support our clients’ business ambitions”.
Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said “A critical strategic focus for IDA is its commitment to win more investment from the Asia – Pacific region. IDA Ireland has significantly increased its team in this market in recent years and we are 16% ahead of target at the midpoint of our ‘Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019’ strategy in terms of investment wins from the Growth Markets region.”
IDA Ireland considers Ireland an excellent fit for companies in this region looking to locate part of their business in Europe. As a committed member of the EU, Ireland has excellent mix of talent, track record and a pro-business environment to offer potential and existing client companies, across a number of sectors.
We use these opportunities to meet with clients in their own headquarters where we can deepen existing relationships and hopefully attract new business to Ireland.”
During the trade mission, Án Tánaiste will promote Ireland and its world-class companies during a series of high level business engagements, including an address to Keidanren, Japan’s largest business association with over 1,600 members, covering Ireland’s Economy, Trade & Investment, the Japan-Europe Economic Partnership Agreement and Brexit, and a networking event hosted by the Irish Ambassador to Singapore for the Irish Diaspora and wider Irish Community.