Enterprise Ireland has launched an initiative aimed at broadening Irish companies’ range of export markets ahead of Britain’s formal exit from the EU.
In the last 10 years the percentage of Irish exports from Enterprise Ireland client firms going directly to the UK has fallen from 45% to 37% and the agency is hopeful of further reducing that in favour of a broader range of locations.
The agency launched its 2016 International Markets Week yesterday along with its new Global Ambition awareness and mentoring campaign with a survey which showed nearly 90% of Irish firms plan to expand into new global markets in 2017.
Some140 market advisors from 30 Enterprise Ireland overseas offices have returned to Ireland to assist 400 client firms in developing new export plans as part of the programme.
North America, northern Europe and the UK (80% of firms already active in Britain intend to deepen their involvement there) top the list, but one in five companies have indicated an interest in Latin America.
Additionally, Russia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa are also under consideration.
“[The] survey results reflect that Irish companies have ambitious plans for their future exports and they’re not afraid to travel far and wide. But we need to continue to drive the ambition of Irish exporters, especially in the aftermath of Brexit and now that we have a clear indication on the timing of Article 50,” said Enterprise Ireland chief executive Julie Sinnamon.
“Our intention is to work with companies to drive their innovation and competitiveness and create companies of scale at an international level,” she said.
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