Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, is today commencing a trade mission to China of forty-five Enterprise Ireland clients with the aim of highlighting the strong trade and investment links between Ireland and Greater China. Focused on promoting the innovative capabilities and competitive offers of Irish companies to international buyers, in sectors including fintech, consumer goods, healthcare, international services and digital technologies, the trade mission is critical to helping Irish companies to diversify into the Chinese market in the context of Brexit.
Forty-five Enterprise Ireland clients will participate in the six-day trade mission which will raise the profile of Ireland’s innovation capability on the mainland as well as in Hong Kong through two key events; Hong Kong Fintech Week and the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. Enterprise Ireland backed companies are being supported by Enterprise Ireland’s Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong offices to accelerate their business activities in Greater China, one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Enterprise Ireland client exports to the Asia Pacific region grew by 9 per cent to €1.97 billion in 2017 and Ireland continues to build its export footprint in the Asia Pacific region. In 2017, Enterprise Ireland client exports to Greater China grew by 9.7 per cent to record levels of €1.03bn, with China now accounting for 52 per cent of client exports to the Asia Pacific region. Building on this strong growth trend and market potential, Enterprise Ireland has set ambitious targets to grow exports to Greater China by 40% to €1.44bn by 2020 and to increase exports to the Asia Pacific region by over 50% from €1.97bn to €3bn by 2020. Expanding the reach of Irish enterprise in diversified export markets is a key strategic priority for Enterprise Ireland and international trade missions and trade fair participation is key to delivering on this.
Commencing on Monday 5th November, the CIIE will see eight Irish companies showcased under the Irish Advantage banner, Enterprise Ireland’s global campaign to promote Irish companies internationally. Companies including Hostelworld, Glen Dimplex, Emerald Green Baby, Cartoon Saloon, PM Group and Irish Breeze are among the companies participating in the inaugural CIIE. The event will be a pivotal platform to promote Ireland to Chinese importers as a source of world class products and services across a range of sectors.
This is the first time that the Government of Ireland, through Enterprise Ireland, is participating in Hong Kong FinTech Week, which will provide an important platform to showcase Ireland’s fintech strengths and for eleven Enterprise Ireland backed fintech companies including KnowYourCustomer, GlobalShares, CurrencyFair, Fenergo and Corlytics to strengthen their business in Hong Kong and the wider APAC region.
Speaking on the significance of this mission, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said, “Irish companies are winning business across global markets at an unprecedented scale and trade missions play a critical role in supporting our indigenous companies to gain worldwide recognition and achieve even greater levels of export success. Ireland’s presence at Hong Kong Fintech Week and CIIE will help to accelerate the expansion of Enterprise Ireland backed companies across into mainland China and Hong Kong.”
“Ireland is keen to work with China on concrete actions to demonstrate our support for free trade and globalisation and our participation in CIIE is one of the ways we are acting on this commitment. During the trade & investment mission, I look forward to engaging with key decision makers to promote Ireland as a source of world-class products and services,” added Minister Humphreys.
Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon commented on the importance of the mission’s objectives in the current context, “Enterprise Ireland companies are selling into more international markets than ever, but in the context of Brexit, our focus is on accelerating this to an even greater degree. Enterprise Ireland’s client companies’ exports to Greater China grew 9.7 per cent to reach record levels of €1.03bn in 2017 and now account for 52% of exports to the Asia Pacific region. China and the wider Asia Pacific region presents an increasingly strong export growth opportunity for Irish companies and particularly, the largest regional market of China. Building on this strong growth and the potential for expansion into this market, Enterprise Ireland is setting ambitious targets to increase exports to China by 40% to €1.44bn by 2020. Our participation in Hong Kong Fintech Week and CIIE is a key step towards this ambition.”
Tom Cusack, Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific, reaffirmed the benefits to Chinese and Irish companies, “The Irish Advantage offers significant benefits for companies in China looking to partner with Irish businesses, who are the most innovative in Europe. The expanding influence of China, through growing affluence, and the digitalisation of economies and sectors, all point towards the increasing economic importance of the Asia Pacific region for Irish companies. This trade mission is focused on the win-win across both markets and there are significant wins to be gained on both sides.”