Enterprise Ireland to help firms increase exports to South Africa via expert panels

14 Nov 2012

Launching Enterprise Ireland's expert panel for South Africa are Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello, TD; panel member Willem van Biljon; Fred Klinkenberg, Enterprise Ireland country manager, South Africa; and panel member Dr Alewyn Burger

Enterprise Ireland is to launch expert panels in financial services and telecommunications, with the aim of helping Irish companies that operate in these sectors to increase their business presence and win new export contracts in the South African marketplace. The move is part of this week’s trade mission of 37 Irish companies to South Africa.

Ireland’s Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello, TD, is leading the trade mission.

According to Enterprise Ireland, its expert panels will be made up of local industry experts who have expertise and knowledge of the financial services and telecommunications markets and industry institutions.  

Such experts will also provide planning support, advice and introductions for Irish companies that are seeking to enter or expand their business in the South African marketplace.  

At the minute, more than 180 Enterprise Ireland client companies are now exporting to South Africa.

Speaking from South Africa, Costello said the continuing growth in Irish exports to South Africa shows there is a “significant opportunity” for more trade and partnerships between Irish and South African companies.

Costello said Enterprise Ireland client companies increased their sales in South Africa to more than €100m in 2011.

Enterprise Ireland’s head of International Sales and Partnering, Kevin Sherry, said South Africa is a key market for an increasing number of Irish financial services companies.  

“Likewise, the growing demand for telecommunications in South Africa and throughout sub-Saharan Africa offers real business and partnership opportunities for Irish companies,” he said.

Sherry added that the aim of the expert panels will be to help Irish companies in the financial services and telecommunications areas tap into the market potential in South Africa.

Enterprise Ireland also opened a new office in Johannesburg last February.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic