A four-day trade mission to Warsaw and Prague was a roaring success for Irish firms.
A recent four-day trade mission to Poland and Czech Republic organised by the Irish Government and Enterprise Ireland has come to a close, and it was a resounding success for companies involved.
The mission included 28 Irish companies that participated in 80 one-to-one meetings with their Polish and Czech counterparts. The firms examined opportunities across engineering, electronics, software, travel IT and medical devices.
Among the agreements by Irish companies during the mission were partnerships and contracts concluded by Click&Go and PPI Adhesives in Poland; and Bookassist, Portwest, Realtime Technologies and Ventac in the Czech Republic.
Major progress for Irish firms
Travel start-up Click&Go announced it is setting up its first overseas base in Warsaw, and Portwest is to expand its presence in the Czech Republic in collaboration with its distributor there, Lukšík Promex. The company’s first ‘shop-in’ store will be opening this autumn.
Kingspan was also celebrating a milestone during the four-day event. The firm’s facility in Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic is 20 years old and an innovation week was held there to coincide with the trade mission.
Minister of State Pat Breen, TD, participated in 12 high-level meetings with senior Polish and Czech business executives, as well as a number of political discussions that included a bilateral meeting with Marcin Ociepra, Polish undersecretary of state at the ministry of enterprise and technology, and Aleš Chmelař, Czech state secretary for EU affairs.
Minister Breen emphasised the strong trading bonds between Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic as the trade mission reached its conclusion.
He said: “As the contracts in excess of €7.5m from this mission show, the opportunities for innovative Irish companies to increase their sales to Poland and the Czech Republic are real and tangible. Central Europe, with its high economic growth, will continue to be a key market for Irish goods and services for Enterprise Ireland clients.”
The Minister stated that total trade with Poland was worth approximately €3.4bn, while trade between Ireland and the Czech Republic was valued at €1.4bn.
Building strong trading links
Conor Fahy, regional director of central and eastern Europe, Russia, and Latin America at Enterprise Ireland, said that the trade mission was a key element of the body’s strategy to grow indigenous companies on a global scale. “The objective of this trade mission was to build on Ireland’s existing strong economic links with Poland and the Czech Republic. In 2016, Enterprise Ireland clients generated €235m of exports to Poland and over €82m to the Czech Republic.”
Fahy added that trade missions such as this are vital in the demonstration of what Enterprise Ireland can do in terms of displaying the country’s world-class goods and services to international buyers. “The announcements made by Irish companies during this trade mission clearly demonstrate the opportunities that exist for innovative and ambitious Irish companies across central Europe.”