News & Events

Minster Flanagan and Minister Bruton announce Enterprise Ireland international programme and St. Patrick’s Day Programme 2015

St. Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme will see 27 Ministers taking part in over 100 business events and 100 high-level political meetings in 27 countries Enterprise Ireland international 2015 programme includes increase in activity over last year’s programme which delivered 8,500 extra jobs in Irish companies

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, today [Monday] launched the year-long programme of ministerial-led events targeting trade and investment for Ireland in 2015.

Today’s announcement includes details of Enterprise Ireland's year-long programme of trade missions and international activity for 2015, which will see a total of 121 international trade missions and events to support Irish companies selling abroad, up from 118 in 2014. 2014 exports by Irish companies supported by Enterprise Ireland significantly exceeded previous records and supported 8,500 extra jobs in Ireland.

The announcement also includes details of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme of international activity which will see the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and 27 Ministers taking part in over 100 business events and 100 high-level political meetings in 27 countries.

The announcement took place at the headquarters of ding*, the world’s largest top-up provider and an innovative Irish company which has benefited from trade missions and Enterprise Ireland support in the past.

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.

Announcing the Enterprise Ireland programme, Minister Bruton said:

“At the heart of the Action Plan for Jobs is our drive to increase Ireland’s exports and create more jobs in exporting companies here. Over the past 4 years, exporting companies supported by my Department have increased their employment by nearly 40,000, with massive knock-on impact in every town and village across the country. The challenge now is to broaden and deepen that impact, and that is why we are increasing even further our programme of supports for our exporting companies.

“In 2014, exports by Irish companies supported by Enterprise Ireland saw a major increase over previous records, supporting an extra 8,500 extra jobs in Ireland. By putting together a programme of international activities for 2015 that is more ambitious and more intensive again, I am convinced that we can support more exports and more jobs in Irish companies right around the country this year. This jobs growth is what will ultimately enable us to grow tax revenues and ultimately deliver income tax cuts and improved services, improving people’s lives”.

Announcing the St. Patrick’s Day programme, Minister Flanagan said:

“The value of St. Patrick’s Day to the promotion of Ireland overseas cannot be overestimated. The St. Patrick’s Day period is perhaps the best showcase of “Team Ireland” in operation abroad. Last year’s programme reached audiences of over 353,000 directly and 80 million through media coverage, and assisted in securing €5 million in new business for Irish exporters.

“The Embassy network and State agencies are engaged from an early stage in putting together Ministerial St. Patrick’s Day programmes to drive forward Ireland’s overseas promotion of trade, investment, tourism and education services.

“This year’s schedule of travel reflects the importance of both new and established markets, and reflects also the recent expansion of the Embassy network, Diaspora hubs, and Ireland’s work in Development Cooperation.

“When Ministers travel this year, the message they will be taking with them is that Ireland is reinvigorated. It is as dynamic, innovative, and welcoming as ever before, and a stable place in which to do business.

“Our network of Embassies and Consulates which work so closely with our State agencies to put in place the programmes for Ministerial travel, will be reporting on the economic, cultural and public diplomacy outcomes for Ireland following this year’s visits.

“I look forward to working with our Embassy network and the State agencies, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Bord Bia, and Science Foundation Ireland, to help promote trade, investment, tourism and education services abroad.”

Brendan Flood, Head of International Sales and Partnering at Enterprise Ireland said: “Exports create and sustain jobs in Ireland. 2014 was a record year for new job creation by Enterprise Ireland companies. Our focus in 2015 is firmly on building on this success by helping clients grow their export sales. Central to Enterprise Ireland’s strategy are Ministerial-led trade missions and international events which are invaluable in opening doors and making high-level introductions for our clients, enabling them exploit the opportunities that exist in global markets. The locations selected are based on our research and market intelligence pointing to the locations and sectors with the greatest opportunity to grow exports. Our 2015 International Events Programme is designed to meet the needs of companies at different stages of development, from looking at new market opportunities, to scaling their progress in their key markets. At the core of this programme is creating opportunities to meet key decision makers in international companies”

Mark English, Chief Operating Officer of ding* said: “It is our pleasure to welcome Ministers Bruton & Flanagan here today and be a part of the launch of the St Patrick’s Day programme 2015 and the ministerial-led trade mission programme. The support of bodies like Enterprise Ireland as well as Ireland’s positive reputation around the world have helped ding* enormously over the last number of years as we’ve extended our services to over 130 countries.”


For further information contact:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Ross Church, Press Officer, 087, 243, 8291.

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: and 01-631 2200.

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


The launch comes a day ahead of the eighth meeting of the Export Trade Council, which will include, among other items, discussion on the programme of trade and promotional travel for 2015.

Enterprise Ireland International Programme

Full programme available at: Enterprise Ireland International Programme

  • The International Events Programme 2015 lists all activities that Enterprise Ireland has organised to assist clients to develop and build their international business. It is the largest programme ever launched by Enterprise Ireland. There are a total of 121 events in train for this year. In 2014 there were 118
  • The purpose of publishing this programme is to allow Irish companies to identify which events are most suitable to assist them to achieve sales in their key markets ; to look at opportunities in new markets and finally to learn about new ways of doing business
  • A vital component to this programme is the presence of Ministers. There are 22 Ministerial–led Trade Missions and events. The presence of a Minister is critical for opening doors with potential customers to gain business for Irish companies. This is particularly the case in new and emerging markets. In addition to Trade Missions, Ministers will also be involved in international Sales Leads Events and Trade Fairs. This figure does not include St Patricks Day Events.
  • In 2014 more than 1000 client companies participated in our International Events Programme - we expect that this record will be exceeded in 2015.
  • The programme is composed of:
    • Inward Missions where Enterprise Ireland brings overseas buyers to meet with potential Irish suppliers. In 2014 over 900 international decision makers came to Ireland through our activities. In 2015 we are targeting over 1100 buyers to Ireland. Major events in 2015 such as Med in Ireland for which Enterprise Ireland targets buyers in the healthcare and medtech will contribute to this increase.
    • Enterprise Ireland will organise group Irish stands at 27 international trade fairs in 2015 including Mobile World Congress in Barcelona the most important event for mobile telephony and related markets, and at the Paris and Dubai air shows, the most prestigious events for the aviation sector.
    • A vital part of this year’s programme are Client Knowledge Forums which consist of seminars/workshops to advise clients of new and developing opportunities in global markets, e.g. Sports Technology in June or forums which enable clients to enhance their sales and marketing skills such Digital Strategies for Overseas Markets. Enterprise Ireland has organised 40 client knowledge forums across the regions in 2015 - a large increase on 2014.
    • Outward Missions where Enterprise Ireland takes clients to meet potential customers and/or partners/distributors in overseas markets. The majority of these are targeting emerging and developing economies.
    • Market Study Visits are designed to assist companies looking for new market opportunities, e.g. Market Study Visit to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar for companies looking at potential business generated by the large scale infrastructural developments taking place in those markets.
    • Sales Leads Events - one of the key innovations in Enterprise Ireland’s Events programme has been to create opportunities for Irish companies to network with key decision markets in overseas markets. 21 Sales Leads Events are planned for 2015.


St. Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme

The St. Patrick’s Day period is a key lynchpin of the Government’s efforts to promote trade, tourism, investment, education, innovation and culture to an overseas audience.

Over the 2014 St Patrick’s Day period, the Taoiseach, the then Tánaiste, Attorney General and 23 Ministers, with the support of the Embassy network and State agencies:

  • Participated in 124 high-level political meetings arranged by the Embassy network.
  • Directly reached audiences of over 353,000 with coordinated messages on tourism, trade and investment designed to raise the positive profile of Ireland internationally.
  • Participated in 115 focussed company engagements with potential to support new commercial links, export opportunities or win new investments.
  • Assisted in securing €5 million in immediate new business for Irish exporters during the high level visits over the season. 108 additional specific business events were attended by over 13,600 Irish and international company representatives.
  • Delivered an average of 17 promotional events and engagements per Embassy or Consulate, across 133 cities in 68 countries.

This year will see a programme of Ministerial travel to 45 destinations across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa for a series of trade, investment and tourism-focused programmes.

Several destinations have been included in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day programme for the first time, including Brazil, a priority market identified in the Review of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, to which Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., will travel. Ireland is the fourth most popular destination for Brazilian students under the Brazilian student mobility programme Science Without Borders.

Minister Bruton is due to travel to Paris for an intensive programme of trade and tourism promotion, while Minister Coveney’s itinerary in Italy has been formulated to highlight the Year of Irish Design and Ireland’s participation in Milan’s EXPO 2015.

Minister Flanagan will travel to New York and to Canada. WithNewYork as ever a major global centre for St Patrick’s Day engagements, the Minister’s programme will combine representing the government attraditional festivities with trade and investment events and high level political contacts with local and national figures, including former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He will also meet with key Irish community figures engaged in US immigration issues as well as with those interested in Northern Ireland matters. Given increased air links, a vibrant Irish community, the new EU-Canada (CETA) trade agreement and the strength of Canadian economy, Minister Flanagan intends to focus his visit to Toronto on growing further the business relationship. Canada is a G7 economy with a GDP of over €1.3 trillion, with annual trade with Ireland already in excess of €2.75 billion. Key events in his Toronto programme will include a 1200-guest Ireland Funds event, meetings with Toronto’s financial sector and political contacts.

Minister Paschal Donohoe will travel to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and San Jose. The focus will be on trade & investment, including the expansion of IDA’s west-coast operations, community outreach, highlight positive aspects of the J1 programme in southern California, and planned expansion of the Aer Lingus Dublin-SFO direct service in summer 2015.

Minister Heather Humphreys will travel to London. Ireland’s relationship with Britain is one of Ireland’s most crucial bilateral relationships, not just politically but also on the trade, investment, tourism, cultural and community fronts. St. Patrick’s Day 2015 offers a unique opportunity to leverage the goodwill generated by the historic State Visit to Britain by President Higgins in April 2014, to develop our political and economic relationship and to communicate key messages to the Irish community in Britain, to a British political, economic and media audience, as well as internationally through the significant foreign media presence in Britain.

Minister Simon Coveney will travel to Italy which is Ireland’s 9th largest merchandise trading partner with bilateral trade at €3.15 billion in 2013, mostly in Ireland’s favour. Services trade between Ireland and Italy is valued at €7.9 billion (2012), again balanced in Ireland’s favour.

The Embassy intends to build on the success of the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day visit which achieved publicity with an equivalent advertising value of €1.2m for ‘Greenings’ and St. Patrick’s Day.


About Ding
Delivering a top-up every second of every day

Established in 2006, ding* has always had the same vision - to keep the world’s mobile phones topped-up...

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St Patrick’s Day programme:

An Tánaiste, Joan Burton

USA (Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia)

Minister Charles Flanagan

Canada, USA (NYC)

Minister Brendan Howlin

South Korea, Japan

Minister Richard Bruton

France (Paris)

Minister Heather Humphreys

UK (London)

Minister Paschal Donohoe

USA (San Francisco, Silicon Valley, San José)

Minister Alex White

New Zealand

Minister Alan Kelly


Minister Jan O’Sullivan


Minister Simon Coveney


Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Indonesia, Singapore

Minister James Reilly

UAE, India

Minister Leo Varadkar


MoS Seán Sherlock


MoS Paul Kehoe

USA (Houston, Savannah)

MoS Ged Nash


MoS Jimmy Deenihan

USA (Chicago, Milwaukee)

MoS Michael Ring

USA (Phoenix, Los Angeles)

MoS Tom Hayes


MoS Kathleen Lynch


MoS Joe McHugh

UK (Scotland)

MoS Kevin Humphreys

Croatia, Switzerland

Mos Paudie Coffey

USA (St. Louis, Indianapolis)

MoS Simon Harris


MoS Dara Murphy


MoS Aodhán Ó Ríordáin


MoS Ann Phelan

The Netherlands

MoS Damien English

Denmark, Slovakia