Irish exports potential to grow further with the launch of a new initiative

Business | Fri 13 Mar | Author – Business & Finance
Irish exports

National Export Campaign and National Export Hub launched to encourage greater export trade.

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA), the voice of the export industry in Ireland, is partnering with ABP, AIB, DHL, Euler Hermes, PwC, and collaborating with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia, to launch a new initiative for exporters.

The National Export Campaign (NEC) and National Export Hub (NEH) will increase the number of Irish businesses exporting for the first time, assist Irish businesses to enter new export markets and support Irish exporters to grow their exports in existing markets. Minister Charlie Flanagan, TD, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade launched the initiative, at the offices of PwC on Wednesday, March 11th.

Exporting (with investment) is one of the two key drivers of the Irish economy.  In 2013, Irish exports were €181bn, 104% of GDP.

The NEC, together with its partners will run eight breakfast seminars around the country in 2015. The seminars will provide practical knowledge from experienced exporters and an opportunity for attending SMEs to meet individually with experts from the attending partners. The NEC aims to: Build SME export competence nationally; increase awareness amongst SMEs around the benefits and challenges of exporting; and bring a range of key private and public sector supports together under one campaign.

A dedicated Hub manager based at the Irish Exporters Association will assess the export readiness of businesses attending the NEC breakfasts and work with 20 of these to help identify export opportunities and assist them on their export journey. The NEH will also help companies to identify and connect with the appropriate supports acting as a signpost to the various government and private sector assistance available. Patrick Joy founder of Suretank Group and EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 will chair the NEH steering committee and support the Hub manager.

“My Department both at headquarters and through our network of embassies works hard to support Irish exporters by improving access to markets, supporting Irish businesses seeking to grow overseas and through Ministerial-led trade missions,” Minister Charlie Flanagan said.

“Over this St Patrick’s Day period, Ministerial programmes will take place in 45 destinations across 27 different countries as the Government prepares to maximise the potential of our national holiday. We know from feedback that Irish businesses find such events invaluable in building new contacts and deepening relationships with existing clients. St. Patrick’s Day provides a golden opportunity to deepen business networks and to reinforce other ongoing sales and investment activities, as well as creating new business opportunities.”

Julie Sinnamon, chief executive, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland welcomes the launch of the IEA Export Campaign recognising the importance of exporting to the long-term growth of jobs, businesses and the Irish economy.”

The National Export Campaign will be at the Smart Business Show April 22nd and 23rd 2015 and in Cork also in April, Portlaoise in May and Limerick in June.