International Markets Week (IMW) hosted by Enterprise Ireland opens today at the RDS with a record 650 Irish exporters confirmed to attend over three days. More than 150 international market advisors from Enterprise Ireland’s 33 overseas offices will be in Ireland to participate in over 2,100 meetings, advising Irish companies on global export opportunities and how to diversify into new markets in response to Brexit.
Helping Irish businesses diversify into new markets is a key Brexit response and one of the ways Enterprise Ireland is helping exporters increase their global footprint. According to the results of the Enterprise Ireland survey of companies attending International Markets Week, more than four out of five (84%) plan to diversify into new international markets, while almost one in three (32%) will continue to expand into the UK.
Opening International Markets Week, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “While the Brexit negotiations continue, we know that the Eurozone provides many advantages including currency stability, common and mutually recognised standards, and minimal customs bureaucracy for Irish companies looking to export. Irish exporters need to look at the Eurozone area as an extension of our own market, whereby Europe is viewed as a new domestic market with Ireland at its heart. The UK is, and always will be, an important market for Irish exporters, but it is inevitable, that whatever the final shape of Brexit, the comparative and consistent advantages of doing business within Europe should increasingly encourage Irish companies to build scale and expand reach within the Eurozone market.”
Enterprise Ireland is actively encouraging client companies to enter and build exports in core Eurozone markets. Almost half (45%) of Enterprise Ireland clients identified the Eurozone as a region that they are aiming to expand into. New to this year’s IMW is a dedicated Eurozone area where market advisers will advise on how best to enter and build exports in core Eurozone markets, namely Germany, France, Benelux, Italy and Spain.
IMW will also feature a Brexit Zone, where experts will offer practical advice and assistance to companies exporting to the UK. The Brexit Zone offers the opportunity for company specific one-to-one meetings to discuss practical issues related to Customs, Transport and Logistics; Financial and Currency Management and Strategic Sourcing.
Speaking at International Markets Week, Heather Humphreys TD Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation said: “The Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is working to deliver a stronger, more diversified indigenous export sector with a larger presence in the Eurozone and other growth markets. There are great opportunities for international trade for ambitious Irish companies, and in that regard I am allocating an additional €3m to Enterprise Ireland in 2019 to expand its global support services for Irish exporting companies. This will include an enhanced programme of trade visits and missions, inward buyer missions, additional advisers on the ground and marketing campaigns around Irish capabilities, products and services in international markets.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, also indicated how the additional €3m allocated to Enterprise Ireland under the Global Ireland initiative in Budget 2019 will be deployed.
“This funding will help accelerate our client diversification plans in the context of Brexit. In 2019 we plan to strengthen our overseas presence through a mixture of new office openings, expansions and appointing in-market trade consultants. In addition, we will be expanding our #IrishAdvantage sectorally-led digital marketing online platform promoting Irish exporters to international buyers in key markets to support exporters entering new markets.”
This increase in physical and digital “boots on the ground” globally reflects the diversity of opportunity and ambition of Irish exports. The survey of exporters at IMW indicated that 19% considered the North American market offers most potential for growth, 17% the UK with 11% preferring the Asian market.
To open International Markets Week to clients, a panel of experts participated in a Breakfast Briefing to discuss what Irish companies can do to stay ahead of the challenges of global trade & tariffs, digital disruption and changing customer expectations – under the theme of “Competing for the future”.
International Markets Week takes place from 16 – 19 October 2018 at the RDS.