Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government export agency and the third largest seed investor in Europe, is undertaking an important trade mission to Scotland. Taking place 26-27 September, this trade mission is being led by the Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD and Deirdre McPartlin, Enterprise Ireland UK Manager.
With 56 Irish companies participating on the trade mission to Scotland, this high-profile Irish contingent aims to highlight the strong business prospects for Scottish-Irish collaboration, as well as raise awareness for the scope and scale of the opportunities in Scotland. Focusing in on Ireland’s strengths across fintech, cleantech, agritech, automotive, construction and digital technology, Enterprise Ireland hopes to reinforce the synergy across the two countries especially focused on talent, ambition and innovation, as well as broader infrastructure opportunities in food and beverage manufacturing and offshore wind.
For Scotland and Ireland, exports in each direction have increased by over one hundred per cent since 2012 and in 2017 Irish-Scottish trade exceeded £1.8 billion, up by 130 per cent over the last five years. Ireland is also the fourth largest Foreign Direct Investor in Scotland. Over the last year alone, the Fintech exports of Enterprise Ireland clients to Scotland grew by 12%. The ties are strong and this largest trade mission in recent years is looking to strengthen this fruitful relationship even further.
Given the close proximity of the markets and shared business culture, the arrival of this Irish delegation in Scotland reaffirms the importance placed on strengthening trade relationships, particularly in the current Brexit climate. The two-day mission will emphasise the opportunity for increased collaboration between the two countries and will facilitate Irish and Scottish companies to explore areas of potential collaboration and power future economic growth between both countries.
Led by the Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, the Enterprise Ireland trade mission will focus on Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as at various other sites around the country, including a visit to the Enterprise Ireland client Glennon Brothers’, state-of-the-art timber facility in Troon. Seminars, roundtables and networking events will cover themes including environmental performance, innovation in Asset & Wealth management and the changing landscape of Scottish Farming. Over the course of the two days Minister Humphreys will also meet Scottish Ministers Derek McKay, Ivan McKee and Paul Wheelhouse.
Leading Enterprise Ireland’s Trade Mission to Scotland, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said “Bilateral trade between Ireland and Scotland is strong, exceeding £1.8 billion in 2017 and there is immense opportunity to build on this for both countries. As Brexit negotiations continue, the Irish Government, through Enterprise Ireland is committed to consolidating and growing Irish exports to Scotland and the UK now and into the future. Engaging with senior Scottish business and political leaders is critical to this effort: to realise the scale of this opportunity for both Scotland and Ireland.”
Deirdre McPartlin, Enterprise Ireland UK Manager, said: “Scotland and Ireland have always had strong trade ties and through the trade mission we aim to help deepen existing relations and grow the market opportunities that currently exist between the two countries particularly within construction, agritech, financial services and off-shore wind sectors. While Enterprise Ireland has a focus on supporting clients to grow beyond the UK and diversify their geographic footprint where they can, we continue to see significant growth opportunities within the UK market. Last year Irish exports to the UK increased by 4% to €7.62bn. Aligned with our market diversification strategy, Enterprise Ireland is supporting Irish companies to extend their customer range and geographic footprint in the UK. Our trade mission to Manchester earlier this year and our trade mission to Scotland this week, reflects the strong appetite from Irish companies to continue to grow their customer base and diversify within the UK’s regions.”