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Intensive programme of Ministerial trade missions and international trade events for 2014 announced by Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore announcing the programme of Ministerial Trade Missions for 2014[/caption]Intensive programme of Ministerial trade missions and international trade

events for 2014 announced by Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs

· Enterprise Ireland launches new Market Access Grant Scheme to assist

companies internationalise their businesses and announces intensive

international programme of 118 trade events including 18

Ministerial-led trade missions

· St Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme will see 27 Ministers

taking part in over 100 business events and 80 high-level political

meetings in 23 countries

17th February 2014

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD

and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD

today [Monday] launched the year-long programme of ministerial-led events

targeting trade and investment for Ireland in 2014.

Today’s announcement includes details of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day

‘Promote Ireland’ programme of international activity which will see 27

Ministers taking part in over 100 business events and 80 high-level

political meetings in 35 cities across 23 countries.

The announcement also includes details of Enterprise Ireland's year-long

programme of trade missions and international activity for 2014 as well as

a major new Enterprise Ireland Market Access Grant Scheme which will help

companies succeed more quickly and effectively in new markets.

The announcement took place in Ergo, a highly innovative exporting Irish IT

company offering infrastructure services and software development solutions

Delivering an intensive programme of ministerial-led trade missions is a

key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The number of

ministerial-led Enterprise Ireland trade missions has more than doubled

since 2011.

Launching the St. Patrick’s Day programme, the Tánaiste said:

“2014 is all about recovery. Now that we have exited the EU/IMF bailout and

made a successful return to the bond markets, it is more important than

ever that we leverage the opportunity presented by the St. Patrick’s Day

period to further boost trade, tourism and inward-investment with a view to

creating more jobs at home.

“The Government, supported by our embassy network and State agencies, will

be sending a clear message that Ireland is a stable, vibrant and innovative

country with which to do business. Our exit from the bailout and return to

economic stability will form an important part of the international

narrative around the St. Patrick’s Day period this year.

“As our number-one export market and the source of 80 percent of all

foreign direct investment to Ireland, North America features heavily in the

programme again this year with ministers taking in 11 US and three Canadian

cities over the St. Patrick’s Day period.

“I look forward to working with our embassies and consulates all over the

world and the State agencies – Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, Tourism Ireland

and Bord Bia – to make the most of this crucial period for the Irish


Announcing the Enterprise Ireland programme, Minister Bruton said:

“At the heart of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs is our drive to

provide better supports for exporting companies so that they can sell more

of their products and services abroad and help create the jobs we badly

need. As part of that drive we have put in place a range of new supports,

including the establishment of a new division in Enterprise Ireland focused

on potential exporters, 14% extra staff for EI in foreign markets and tax

breaks for companies to put staff on the ground in target countries. In the

past two years, we have started to see the results, with a total of more

than 20,000 extra jobs added by exporting companies during that time.

Companies like Ergo here today show just what can be achieved by innovative

Irish companies that are strategically focussed on driving their export


“Today we are announcing the Enterprise Ireland programme of international

activity for 2014. The number of ministerial-led missions will remain at 18

– consistent with 2013 levels, and more than double the numbers during

2007-2011 when the average was 8.5. We are also announcing a significant

new scheme to support internationalisation to support companies in

developing new markets, worth up to 150k per company. By continuing to

develop and implement new supports for exporting companies, I am convinced

we can build on these and support exporting companies to create more jobs

in the coming years”.

Kevin Sherry, Head of International Sales and Partnering at Enterprise

Ireland, added: ‘‘Exports create and sustain jobs in Ireland and the

programme of trade missions and events we have put in place is designed to

build on export growth in markets where Irish companies are strong and can

continue to grow, as well as high growth markets where we can win new

business. Ministerial-led trade missions are a key part of Enterprise

Ireland’s strategy to grow Irish export sales and are of great benefit in

opening doors, making high-level introductions and helping our client

companies to exploit the opportunities that exist in global markets. Year

on year Irish companies continue to increase their export sales, and we

expect another strong performance in the coming year, supported by

Enterprise Ireland and this very intensive programme of international


Enterprise Ireland International Programme

The Tánaiste and Minister Bruton also today launched a major new Enterprise

Ireland Market Access Grant Scheme which will help companies succeed more

quickly and effectively in new markets. This new scheme, under which

companies can receive grant support of up to €150,000 to develop new

markets, is a very significant addition to the trade mission activity and

the wide range of supports which Enterprise Ireland already provides for

exporting companies. This scheme is aimed at companies that are

investigating new markets that demonstrate strong potential and will

provide funding support to develop marketing strategies to capitalise on

these opportunities.

This year, over 1000 EI client companies will take part in a series of 118

international events including 18 ministerial-led trade missions to major

export markets including North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East,

Africa and Latin America. These trade missions and events are a central

part of Enterprise Ireland’s drive to support Irish companies seeking to

exploit new international business opportunities, target and secure new

international customers and grow their sales. These activities are key to

helping companies build their export markets, creating and sustaining

much-needed jobs in Ireland and further increasing Ireland’s indigenous

companies exports from their current record level.

St. Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme

The St. Patrick’s Day period is a cornerstone of the Government’s efforts

to promote trade, tourism, inward-investment and culture abroad in order to

foster economic growth and job creation at home.

This year will see 27 Ministers visiting more than 35 cities in 23

countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East for a

series of trade, tourism and investment-focused programmes. Ministers will

take part in hundreds of business events and dozens of high-level political

meetings as part of an intensive “Promote Ireland” programme.

Among the destinations included in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day programme

for the first time are Mexico and Vietnam – two important emerging markets

identified in the soon-to-be-published Review of the Government Trade,

Tourism and Investment Strategy. Mexico and Vietnam have a combined

population of more than 200 million people with total Irish exports to the

two countries up by 8 percent and 41 percent respectively between 2010 and


Russia is also back on the St. Patrick’s Day agenda for the first time

since 2010, reflecting the impressive growth of Irish exports to the

country in recent years. Goods exports to Russia have increased by 69

percent since 2010.

The Tánaiste will travel to France for a comprehensive programme of trade,

tourism and investment-focused events as well as high-level political

meetings. Coordinated by Embassy Paris, the three-day programme in

Ireland’s sixth largest export market, will include a business event

organised by IDA Ireland, promotion of Bord Bia and EI clients at the Wabel

Frozen Food Summit and a number of contract signings by Enterprise Ireland

client companies.

Minister Bruton will travel to Italy where he will lead events in Rome and

Milan. As well as community and cultural engagements, the Minister will be

supporting Irish companies at major networking events and targeted meetings

in our ninth largest merchandise trade partner. His programme will involve

a focus on technology, engineering, investment, food and tourism.

It is expected that Ministers will participate in more than 80 high-level

political meetings, including bilateral meetings with President Obama and

Prime Minister Cameron. They will also attend over 100 business events and

participate in cultural, networking and Irish community events throughout

the St. Patrick’s Day period.


For further information contact:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Meg Laffan, 087 683 7205

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Conor Quinn, press Advisor

to Minister Bruton, 087-3743783,

Enterprise Ireland: Alan Hobbs, Head of Communications, 086-8699703.


St. Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme:


France | Tánaiste




Canada | Minister Michael Noonan




China | Minister Brendan Howlin




Italy | Minister Richard Bruton




New York | Minister Joan Burton




San Francisco | Minister Jimmy Deenihan




London and Birmingham | Minister Pat Rabbitte




United Arab Emirates | Minister Phil Hogan




Mexico | Minister Alan Shatter




New Zealand and Eastern Australia | Minister Simon Coveney




Japan and Korea | Minister Frances Fitzgerald




Boston and Cleveland | Minister James Reilly




Atlanta and Savannah | Minister Leo Varadkar




Washington DC | Attorney General Máire

| Whelan SC




Lebanon | Minister of State Paul Kehoe




Scotland | Minister of State Jan

| O’Sullivan




Pittsburgh and Philadelphia | Minister of State Dinny

| McGinley




Spain | Minister of State John Perry




Netherlands | Minister of State Michael

| Ring




Vietnam | Minister of State Kathleen

| Lynch




Germany | Minister of State Fergus

| O’Dowd




Chicago and Kansas City | Minister of State Sean

| Sherlock




Romania | Minister of State Ciaran

| Cannon




Western Australia | Minister of State Alan Kelly




Russia | Minister of State Alex White




Norway | Minister of State Tom Hayes




Belgium and Luxembourg | Minister of State Paschal

| Donohoe


St Patrick’s Day 2013

Over the 2013 St Patrick’s Day period, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and

Ministers, with the support of the Embassy network and State agencies:

· Undertook 20 programmes to promote trade, tourism, investment and

Irish culture overseas

Participated in 88 high-level political meetings, including bilateral

meetings with President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron, then

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and US Secretary of State

Kerry, among others

· Engaged in 70 focussed company engagements with potential to support

new export opportunities or win new investments

· Promoted trade and investment in Ireland at 101 business events,

attended by over 8,500 Irish and international company

representatives contributing to new leads for indigenous exporters

and for inward investment to Ireland

· Promoted key messages on trade, tourism and investment in

opinion-editorials and interviews in the international media –

reaching, at a very conservative estimate, over 16.3 million people.

The Tánaiste recently published the first annual report of the economic and

promotional work undertaken abroad by the Department of Foreign Affairs and

Trade - Ireland’s Economic Diplomacy in Action 2013. The report shows how

the embassy network continues to play a crucial role in supporting the

Government’s Strategy to increase trade, tourism and investment in Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is leading the Review of the

Government Strategy for Trade, Tourism and Investment in close

collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and

other Government Departments and State Agencies involved in promoting

trade, tourism and investment.

The Review, which is designed to ensure that the State coordinates its

efforts overseas in a manner which yields the best possible economic

return, will be published next week.

Enterprise Ireland programme of international activity

Full programme available at:

Market Access Grant Scheme

Full details available at:

About Ergo

Headquartered in Dublin with more than 200 employees, Ergo is an award

winning IT company offering IT infrastructure services and software

development solutions. From consultancy and project management to software

engineering and support, Ergo is an end-to-end provider, leveraging 20

years of experience and skills in all core IT competencies.

A pioneer of managed service delivery in Ireland, Ergo continues to

innovate and bring strategic value to IT through a combination of

best-of-breed products from partners like Microsoft and HP, and software

solutions developed at its R&D centre. In 2013, Ergo launched its business

process management tool FlowForma, which is already driving efficiencies in

organisations across Ireland and the UK.

The company has become a strategic IT partner to leading organisations such

as Laya Healthcare, the Irish Revenue Commissioners, Mercury Engineering,

Beaumont Hospital and Analog Devices.

For further information visit