Creative Expo has designs on generating €22m in orders

MORE than €22 million in sales orders are expected at Ireland’s Creative Expo which opened in the RDS in Dublin yesterday.

Over four days, 350 of Ireland’s talented designers and crafts people will present their products to buyers at the trade show.

The showcase will attract more than 5,500 buyers from Ireland and more than 17 countries around the world including North America, continental Europe and Japan.

The Crafts Council of Ireland is the main driver behind trade fair, which is marketed overseas by Enterprise Ireland.

The opening of the event in the main hall of the RDS was the first official engagement of Mary Hanafin in her role as Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Minister.

Ms Hanafin, who is also Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, said the showcase was the best example of the fusion of the two Government departments.

The showcase was about enterprise that was very much at the heart of our economy. It was also about culture, creativity and art, she said.

“So I am delighted to be wearing all my hats here today to open this wonderful fair,” she said.

Head of market development at the Crafts Council of Ireland, Brian McGee, said that they were hoping for an slight increase in buyers this year, compared to 2009.

“The one country where we cannot make a call on is Ireland itself because of the recession,” said Mr McGee.

The show features Irish fashion, jewellery, giftware and interior goods.

“People in Ireland need this show to get a chance to talk to the world because they cannot afford to travel Paris, London or Berlin,” said Mr McGee.

“It is a boutique show on the international stage and we are certainly boxing above our weight to bring buyers from all around the world,” he pointed out.

And, he said, it afforded a chance to respond to the doom-mongers by putting the spotlight on the wealth of talent in the country.

“Despite the recession, Ireland is definitely open for business,” he stressed.

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