Minister accents tech and science links between Ireland and Sweden

16 Mar 2012

Stockholm in Sweden

With today’s CSO figures indicating that exports of Irish-owned companies increased by 12pc to €210m in 2011, Minister for Small Business John Perry, TD, was in Stockholm this morning to talk about Ireland’s and Sweden’s trading ties.

Irish companies that were at the Enterprise Ireland and Irish Embassy-organised briefing in Stockholm today included CPL Group, Kingspan, S3, Glen Dimplex and AMCS.

Perry spoke about Swedish companies, such as Ericsson, Volvo, Scania, Electrolux, ABB, H&M, and IKEA, which he said had been “able to sustain lucrative partnerships” with Irish companies.

Exports up

At this morning’s event, Enterprise Ireland said exports of Irish-owned companies increased by 12pc to €210m in 2011.

Perry touched on the above-mentioned Irish companies at the event. “These companies demonstrate the wide variety of products and services that are traded between our two nations, including industries such as information technologies, electronics, industrial components, food, consumer merchandise, financial services and, of course, medical technologies and pharmaceuticals,” he said.

The minister also welcomed the new Irish arrival to the Scandinavian construction market in 2011 – AREAP – which is owned by CPL Ireland.

He said Ireland operates in markets that are characterised by rapid and dynamic change and that international partnerships are key.

“Irish companies are increasingly involved in sourcing relationships, strategic alliances, joint ventures, product/process licensing and collaborative R&D with international partners. I have no doubt that there are significant opportunities for this kind of partnership between Ireland and Sweden,” said Perry.

This afternoon, Perry is heading to an energy seminar about energy efficiency and buildings and Ireland’s expertise in the area.

As for the latest merchandise trade figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today, they showed a 10pc increase in exports in January 2012 compared with January 2011. Ireland’s trade surplus in January increased 20pc to €3.2bn.

Broken down, exports of medical and pharmaceutical products were up by 9pc. Exports to key target countries were also up, significantly compared to 2010. For instance, Brazil was up by 20pc, Russia by 37pc and India by 34pc.

Life sciences and Ireland’s exporting drive 

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, spoke about the CSO figures from San Francisco today. He is on a trade and investment promotion programme in western US states and is visiting places such as Silicon Valley.

Bruton said the Irish Government’s Action Plan for Jobs focuses on developing new export markets and driving key sectors that present high-growth potential, including life sciences and agri-food.

“Despite the warnings of some commentators about our exports, recent weeks and months have seen some encouraging signs in the global economy, as well as some further signs that the Irish economy has stabilised and is returning to sustainable growth. In this context, today’s announcement that our exports are up 10pc year-on-year is very welcome,” said Bruton.

However, he did concede that Ireland must do more. “Here in the United States, the Irish and multinational companies I have met are highly ambitious about the potential to further grow exports,” said Bruton.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic