St Patrick’s Day Programme – Virtual Trade

    Minister for Trade Promotion to participate in virtual trade mission with companies from Belgium, the UK, Australia, the Nordic and ASEAN regions

    15th March 2021

    Robert Troy TD, Minister for Trade Promotion, will participate in a number of online trade events this coming week as part of the Government’s St Patrick’s Day Programme.

    Speaking ahead of the virtual St Patrick’s Day events, Minister Troy said:

    “St Patrick’s Day is normally marked by people coming together to celebrate our heritage across the globe. Although a different occasion this year, for obvious reasons, the celebration continues. This year the Irish Government is celebrating the positive impact of both international companies investing in Ireland and Irish companies are making across the world with over 55 virtual events across the St Patrick’s day period.

    “I am proud of how the resilience of Irish businesses and the tireless efforts of our trade agencies – Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, working closely with my Department – have seen the Irish economy grow by 3% in 2020, the only positive growth rate in the EU. 2020 also saw record level of exports – over €160 billion. As an island nation and due to our relatively small size we have always had a strong international orientation and export focus. This is more important now than ever before as Ireland faces up to the challenges of Covid, the post-Brexit environment and globalisation.”

    Belgium

    On Monday (15 March) Minister Troy will participate in a Belgium-Ireland trade webinar. Belgium is a significant trading partner for Ireland with total exports of goods to Belgium in 2020 totalling €17.8 billion while Belgian exports to Ireland totalled €2.4 billion.  The webinar will focus on building on the already strong bilateral trade relationship between both countries and will discuss issues such as supply chain management and logistics.

    UK

    Minister Troy will also participate in a roundtable event involving senior UK business executives which will discuss the challenges associated with the COVID pandemic, Ireland’s ambitious post-pandemic plans and the benefits of investing in Ireland.

    Minister Troy said:

    “Maintaining our strong trade links with our closest neighbours and the eurozone is a priority. As the vaccination programme ramps up and as infection rates come down, recovery in 2021 is expected to gather speed as the economy reopens.  And while we are aware of the challenges ahead of us, this week is an important moment for us as a country to look at the opportunities of strong international trade relations – both economically and socially. As Minister with responsibility for Trade Promotion I want to reiterate the need focus on 2021 as the year we expand our global footprint, encourage continued international investment to Irish shores and support Irish businesses that are currently trading to expand and scale-up and new businesses to trade internationally.

    Nordics

    The Minister will also address the Nordics Sustainability in a Digital World: From 5G and Datacentres to Wind Power event taking place on St Patrick’s Day itself. The Nordic region includes Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland and, combined, forms the 11th largest economy in the world.  The region delivered close to €870m in exports in 2019 from over 450 Irish companies.  The webinar will highlight Irish innovations with a green and sustainable focus.

    Minister Troy said:

    “Climate action is an area of capital importance to Ireland and the current Programme for Government places climate action at the heart of the political agenda to rapidly transition Ireland to a low-carbon economy. Sustainability is an area where Ireland can learn a lot from our Nordics neighbours and there is also a wide range of opportunities emerging from the climate transition where we can collaborate and find mutual benefits.”

    Asia- Pacific

    On Tuesday (16 March) evening Minister Troy will take part in an online meeting with a panel of Senior Australian Executives from across a range of sectors including financial services, technology and healthcare. The panel advises and assists Enterprise Ireland companies entering and scaling the Australian market. The value of Ireland’s trade with Australia in 2019 was €7.1 billion, with services trade accounting for most of this at €6.2 billion (€5.1 billion in services exports from Ireland and €1.1 billion in services imports from Australia).

    And on Thursday (18 March) Minister Troy will also take part in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region’s St Patrick’s Day virtual webinar event. It is an opportunity for Irish companies and individuals engaged in the region to connect, share experiences, and to identify opportunities to grow trade and investment between Ireland and Indonesia.  Irish exports to the region totalled €350m for 2019.

    Minister Troy said,

    “Despite the past year, Irish companies are still performing strongly on global markets and remain resilient despite the challenges they face. The St Patrick’s Day trade missions play a critical role in supporting our indigenous companies to gain worldwide recognition and achieve even greater levels of export success. The Asia-Pacific region remains the fastest growing in the world and strengthening our trade links with the region presents some excellent opportunities for to grow our footprint in the region.”