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Tánaiste leads Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Turkey

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will today (Sunday) begin an Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Turkey, leading 24 innovative, exporting Irish companies to boost trade between the two countries.

The Tánaiste will visit both Ankara and Istanbul during the four-day visit, organised in cooperation with the Embassy of Ireland in Turkey. He will have a series of high-level meetings with the Turkish President, Government Ministers and senior officials on trade and economic cooperation, as well as business meetings with Irish companies and their Turkish partners and customers.

With the current Irish Presidency of the EU helping to progress accession negotiations with Turkey, the visit comes at a good time for Irish companies seeking to take advantage of new opportunities there. Bilateral trade between Turkey and Ireland was worth over €1billion in 2012, with strong potential for further growth.

The Tánaiste will also visit a Syrian refugee camp on the Turkish border during his visit and hold high-level political meetings with Turkey’s Foreign and European Affairs Ministers on the subject of Turkey’s EU candidacy.

Speaking ahead of his departure, the Tánaiste said:

“Turkey is one of Europe’s largest economies and an important, strategic link between Europe and the Asian economies of the region. This market presents compelling growth opportunities for Irish companies and this visit is about helping them tap that potential.

“Trade missions are of critical importance in building on existing links and opening new doors for increased exports and collaborative business ventures. They are key to supporting Irish companies as they seek to grow, increase their exports and open new markets. Growth in trade and investment resulting from trade missions supports jobs in Ireland, and is a central element of the Government’s Trade Strategy and Action Plan for Jobs.”

The 24 Irish companies participating in the trade mission are drawn from a wide range of sectors with particular growth potential in Turkey, including Engineering , International Education, ICT and Telecommunications, Life Sciences and Software.

The number of Enterprise Ireland Ministerial-led trade missions has more than doubled since 2011, supported by Ireland’s network of Embassies and Consulates. Continuing to deliver an intensive programme of these missions as part of a drive to increase international trade and exports is a key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2013.

Enterprise Ireland’s Director of Global Business Development, Julie Sinnamon, who is accompanying the Tánaiste on the trip, said:

“This trade mission is a very timely and exciting opportunity for Irish companies seeking to expand their business in Turkey. This market offers enormous potential for ambitious Irish companies to establish themselves and build exports. The continuing growth in Irish exports into Turkey shows clearly that there are significant opportunities for increased trade and partnerships between Irish and Turkish companies.

“The market growth is in sectors where Enterprise Ireland’s client companies are particularly strong performers and I am confident that further growth and business successes will result from this trade mission and from the significant effort currently being put into the market by Irish companies.”


Enterprise Ireland is the Government agency responsible for the development and internationalisation of Irish enterprises. Its main aim is to boost exports and export-led jobs. Enterprise Ireland has 28 offices worldwide to help Irish firms develop overseas markets.

Each year, Enterprise Ireland organises a series of targeted international trade missions, market visits, participation in international trade fairs and a large number of international buyer visits to Ireland focussed on assisting Irish firms target and secure international contracts and overseas partners. Here, Enterprise Ireland works directly with Irish firms to help them start up, develop their businesses, build competitiveness and innovate.

Turkey market overview

The Turkish economy is the 6th largest European economy with growth of approx. 3% in 2012 and is forecast to continue growing over the coming decade. Bilateral trade between Turkey and Ireland was worth more than €1billion in 2012 with strong potential for further growth.

Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for about 30% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state remains a major participant in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. Over the last few years Turkey has become an increasingly important market for Enterprise Ireland client companies. Many have entered the Turkish market, either through local partners and distributors or through a direct local presence. Irish exports to Turkey come from a wide base of industries, from Financial Services to Engineering and ICT.