Engineers call on Govt to increase trade links with BRIC nations

2 Mar 2012

Engineers Ireland and DIT hosted a 'Women in Engineering Role Model Day' at DIT this week. Pictured is John Power, director-general, Engineers Ireland, with students learning about career opportunities within the sector

Ireland needs to significantly invest in trading opportunities with the BRIC countries in order to build sustainable future employment opportunities, as well as expanding embassy bases in these countries. That’s according to John Power, director-general of Engineers Ireland.

As part of Engineers Week 2012, a survey of more than 1,200 engineers has revealed that 64pc believe Ireland is not doing enough to promote trade links with China, India, Russia and Brazil (BRIC) countries.

And with Ireland now facing a referendum on the European Stability Treaty, 92pc of the engineers surveyed also said Ireland should resist European pressure to change its corporate tax rate.

“There has been much talk about embassies recently and perhaps the focus needs to be on expanding our embassy base to build on trading opportunities in the BRIC countries rather than continuing to focus on traditional markets and traditional locations. Without these new frontiers, we will fail to create new sustainable international markets for our goods and services which may result in us failing to create the new jobs our economy needs,” Power said.

He said the high levels of economic growth and consumer activity in the BRIC countries has the potential for Ireland to leverage its expertise in areas like engineering and technology to create new opportunities for trade with these countries.  

“The continuing uncertain state of the European economy places great importance on the drive to create new commercial, business and technological links with emerging markets,” said Power.

He said the Government needs to continue prioritising its support for Irish companies to generate business interests in countries like China, India and Brazil, as well as facilitating greater investment from these countries in Ireland. “Failure to do so could be an opportunity missed when economic activity in traditional markets, such as the US and Europe, is so sluggish.”  

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic