Forum to serve Irish companies doing or wanting business in Asia

11 Jul 2012

Ireland has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to exporting to Asia, said Colin Lawlor from BiancaMed, who will be speaking at the 2nd Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum at Croke Park in Dublin, on Friday.

Lawlor said only 4pc of Irish exports go to Asia compared to a 23pc average from the 27 EU countries. He will outline his coalface experience in succeeding in Asia at the event, where Taoiseach Enda Kenny will deliver a keynote speech about  the growing trade and opportunities for Ireland in Asia.

“Irish companies are making inroads in Asia. However, more than 90pc of Ireland’s exports are from multinationals based here, which essentially means we have to grow indigenous services,” said Martin Murray, executive director Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum (APIBF) and CEO of Asia Matters.

“There are significant Asia market business opportunities for Irish companies in finance and professional services, innovative technologies, life sciences, food, drink and agritech, education and tourism,” Murray added.

Countries like Indonesia, India and China are experiencing a rapid rate of GDP growth, often 6pc and more. These growth rates indicate an opportunity for Irish businesses outside of its traditional markets, said Murray.

“While Ireland has boxed above its weight with the US due to historical and geographical reasons, we now need to go where global growth is and work to establish a similarly close relationship with Asian countries,” he said.

Speakers at the 2nd Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum

At the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum, Liam Casey, APIBF patron and CEO of international supply chain management company PCH International, will outline to delegates how he grew a global company by expanding from Cork into China.

Other speakers include Alan Dukes, former finance minister, who will outline the scale of business opportunities for Ireland.

Lionel Alexander, VP of Hewlett-Packard, will show how Irish companies can leverage relationships with multinationals to access Asian markets, while Enterprise Ireland CEO Frank Ryan will outline best practice in exporting to key strategic markets in Asia.

Also scheduled to speak at the event are Kevin O’Leary, CEO of Qumas; Sean O’Sullivan, managing partner at SOS Ventures; Ken McKnight, regional director, Ireland/Asia, CRH Group; and Donagh McHenry, regional director, Asia Pacific, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.

APIBF will host expert workshops on these sectors at the event. Silicon Republic’s CEO and editor-at-large Ann O’Dea will be chairing the Innovative Technologies workshop.

Doing business abroad image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic