Enterprise Ireland trade mission to China aims to bolster business links

31 Oct 2018

Shanghai skyline. Image: © claudiozacc/Stock.adobe.com

Irish companies are travelling to mainland China and Hong Kong as part of a major trade mission helmed by Enterprise Ireland.

A six-day trade mission is beginning today (31 October) as 45 Enterprise Ireland clients travel to China to highlight the robust trade and investment links between the two countries.

The mission will raise Ireland’s profile on the mainland as well as Hong Kong, through two key events: Hong Kong Fintech Week and the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

Enterprise Ireland goes east

The mission is critical to help Irish firms diversify into the Chinese market, particularly in light of the potential implications of Brexit.

Enterprise Ireland client exports to the Asia Pacific region grew by 9pc to €1.97bn in 2017 and exports to Greater China specifically grew by 9.7pc to record levels of €1.03bn. China now accounts for a massive 52pc of client exports to the Asia Pacific region.

Building on this strong foundation, Enterprise Ireland aims to grow exports to Greater China by 40pc by 2020, and increase exports to the Asia Pacific region by more than 50pc to €3bn in the same timeframe.

Promoting Irish business on the world stage

The CIIE will see eight Irish companies showcased under The Irish Advantage, Enterprise Ireland’s global campaign to promote Irish businesses on the international stage. Companies taking part include CurrencyFair, Corlytics, Fenergo and Global Shares.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, said: “Ireland is keen to work with China on concrete actions to demonstrate our support for free trade and globalisation, and our participation in CIIE is one of the ways we are acting on this commitment.”

CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon, said that China and the wider Asia Pacific region present an increasingly strong growth opportunity for Irish companies, adding that the trade mission is a key step in reaching the ambitious export growth targets for 2020.

Tom Cusack, Enterprise Ireland’s regional director for Asia Pacific, said: “The expanding influence of China, through growing affluence and the digitalisation of economies and sectors, all point towards the increasing economic importance of the Asia Pacific region for Irish companies.

“This trade mission is focused on the win-win across both markets and there are significant wins to be gained on both sides.”

Other companies joining the trade mission include Irish Breeze, Hostelworld, Cartoon Saloon and Orbis.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects