Irish IT companies invited to head east for executive training

18 Aug 2008

Irish technology companies will have the opportunity to spend three months with local companies in Japan and Korea and potentially set up strategic partnerships as part of the new cycle of the Executive Training Programme (ETP) funded by the European Commission.

The ETP is a one-year professional development programme, offering EU companies a detailed insight into the Japanese and Korean economy, language and business culture.

Participants receive three months of intensive seminars in Europe, followed by six months of advanced language and business culture training in Tokyo and Seoul and a three-month internship in a Japanese- or Korean-based company.

The European Commission will also put up a scholarship of €24,000 to cover living expenses and travel to and from the country.

“Both Korea and Japan are strong markets for Irish IT companies. Korea’s semi- conductor industry is well established and Japan is very innovative for software and technology products,” said Mary Meehan, manager of international trade services at Chambers Ireland and national co-ordinator of the ETP programme.

“Irish IT companies are a good complement to these markets. Previous Gateway to Japan trade missions have been a great success for Irish software companies.”

The ETP’s curriculum is developed and operated by a consortium of internationally recognised universities (Sciences Po in Paris, SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Waseda University in Tokyo and Yonsei University in Seoul), while its promotion is entrusted to EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and a network of more than 40 chambers in all EU countries.

“Adapting to local business practice is never easy, no matter where you are. However, Japan and Korea have especially complex cultures, and so are even more of a challenge for European businesses,” said Meehan.

Applications should be submitted no later than Tuesday, 30 September 2008 on

By Sorcha Corcoran

Pictured: Korean flag