Enterprise Ireland (EI) estimates that Ireland’s services sector could yield up to €1.46bn in exports by 2010 and reach export levels of €5.2bn by 2015.
The Tánaiste and Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, today launched a new €3m fund to support locally traded services companies that wish to explore opportunities to sell overseas.
“Over the next 10 years, services will be the key driver of Ireland’s economic success and job creation,” the Tánaiste said.
“We already have a strong base from which to drive this internationalisation of Irish services – the Irish services sector accounts for two-thirds of the workforce in Ireland and 60pc of the value added. Ireland is also now the 10th highest exporter of services in the world.”
The new ‘Going Global’ Fund is available to help locally trading companies explore internationalising opportunities.
The eligibility criteria for Feasibility Study-funding have been expanded to cover the development of new business models, which is of particular relevance to services companies.
The positioning and focus of the R&D Fund, the Growth Fund and the Innovative High-Potential Start Up’s offer have been revised, with the aim of stimulating more research, development and innovation in services activities (in both services companies and manufacturing companies).
“EI’s strategy recognises that Irish economic success in the coming years will depend heavily on services,” explained EI’s head of internationally traded services, Kevin Sherry. “Many Irish companies are already successfully targeting the opportunities presented and Irish exports are growing rapidly.
“Between 2005 and 2007, exports of EI’s internationally traded services clients grew by €847m to their current level of €2.61bn, and now account for over 20pc of EI’s total client exports.
“Global demand for services continues to grow, and we believe that Irish services exports have the potential to double to €5.25bn by 2015 from their current base of €2.6bn,” Sherry added.
By John Kennedy