MINISTER for Trade and Commerce Billy Kelleher is leading 30 Irish firms on a week-long trade mission to Russia.
The firms involved specialise in a range of services including engineering, construction, food and drink, education and business services.
Half of the companies are involved in the information communications technology (ICT) and services sectors.
Enterprise Ireland has organised the week-long trip, starting today, to coincide with President Mary McAleese’s visit to Russia, which is Europe’s largest emerging market.
Exports to Russia from Ireland grew by over 66% in the first five months of 2010 and Ireland is the seventh-largest provider of foreign direct investment to Russia, ahead of the US and Japan.
An extensive programme of meetings for each Irish firm with existing and potential customers and partners has been arranged ahead of the trip.
Prior to departure the minister said the event was “an important opportunity to showcase Irish firms and generate new business opportunities”.
Russia is emerging as a significant trading partner for Ireland and its continuing growth has offered Irish firms a wide range of business and commercial opportunities, he said.
This mission gives firms opportunities to strengthen their business links with Russia and will also help new market entrants “to land their first breakthrough sale there,” he added.
Furthermore, he said economic recovery will be driven by our ability to sell overseas and Government strategy is to target markets with “high growth potential that can generate revenues and jobs for Irish firms”.
Chief executive of Enterprise Ireland Frank Ryan said the week-long trip was an important part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy to drive export growth that supports employment and business growth back home.
“Irish products and services are well matched to the opportunities arising in Russia through the expanding Russian economy and the development of the Russian telecommunications, banking and services sectors,” he said.
“This latest drive by those firms should boost further the strong and dynamic trading partnership that has grown up between the two countries.”
The mission also includes a joint knowledge event involving the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (Rusnano) and Science Foundation Ireland.
Both countries share similar national research and development goals, with a strong focus on funding research in nanotechnology, life science and ICT.
A separate event for the Irish higher education sector to build contacts with Russian colleges through Education Ireland is also part of the project.
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