News & Events

2 day trade and investment mission in Ireland begins

Enterprise-Ireland-and-IDA-Joint-Trade-Mission-in-Ireland-opens-doors-for-Irish-SMEs-with-Irish-based-multinationals Strong regional focus - 365 meetings between Irish exporters and multinationals in Athlone, Sligo and Limerick

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today (Wednesday) begins a two-day Trade and Investment Mission to Athlone, Sligo and Limerick organised by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland as part of their joint ‘Global Sourcing’ initiative. The objective is to maximise sales opportunities for Irish SMEs with multinational companies (MNCs) based in Ireland.

Highlighting the strong links that exist between MNCs and their Irish supplier base, the Trade Mission will also introduce innovative Irish SMEs to the global multinational base in Ireland. Over two days and three locations, networking events, panel discussions and 356 one-to-one meetings will take place between 180 Enterprise Ireland clients and 64 IDA clients.

These meetings are invaluable for Irish companies in terms of gaining credible access to procurement teams and decision makers in global multinationals. For MNCs, the Trade Mission raises awareness of the innovative capabilities and solutions provided by Irish SMEs across a wide range of sectors including ICT, Pharma, Biotech, Medical Devices, Consumer, Security and Engineering.

Since the Global Sourcing initiative began in 2012, 21 new contracts have been secured by Irish companies valued at €10.5m.

To demonstrate the extent to which Irish SMEs are successfully supplying products and services to MNCs based in Ireland, site visits will take place to Irish company Exertis and multinational company Cook Medical, both based in Limerick. 

This year, IDA will hold over 20 one-to-one meetings with Irish companies to learn how their products or services may add value to an IDA sponsored multinational based in Ireland.

Building on the success of previous missions, global Irish company PM Group and Jacob’s International will host information desks at each location to highlight the opportunities that exist for Irish companies to become Tier 1 suppliers to multinationals. 

Speaking from Athlone at the start of the trade mission Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “I am very much looking forward to the next two days and my first trade mission. I am glad that this is taking place in Ireland as I am very much focussed on ensuring all regions achieve their economic potential and benefit from job creation, and through our regional action plan for jobs we will achieve this. Ireland is a world-class location for overseas companies and we have a thriving global multinational base here. Regionally based Irish companies are successfully exporting their products and services globally, and are well positioned to service these companies. There are tangible opportunities for SME’s and multinational companies through mutually beneficial collaboration and partnerships. My objective and a key objective for Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland is to translate the introductions made over the next two days into business opportunities that will lead to contract wins and increased employment in regional locations such as Limerick, Athlone and Sligo”. 

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, commented: “A key objective for Enterprise Ireland is to grow more Irish businesses of scale. Irish companies are winning market share overseas, creating jobs in every region in Ireland. Increasingly Irish based MNCs are recognising Irish companies as a resource that can add real value to their operations. Through the Global Sourcing initiative we are seeing real traction between Irish SMEs and foreign-owned multinationals based here. To date 21 new contract wins have been secured with an estimated value of €10.5m. We will continue to push hard to increase the number of Irish SMEs supplying the MNC base in Ireland, creating more jobs in every region in Ireland”. 

Martin Shanahan CEO IDA Ireland said “This joint agency trade mission is focused on helping both foreign owned multinationals based in Ireland and indigenous companies to explore what opportunities may be available to work together, generate new business and build on business partnerships across Ireland. IDA-supported multinational companies represent a vital economic contribution to Ireland in terms of direct employment, capital spend and developing Ireland’s skills base. For every 10 jobs created by an FDI company in Ireland, there are seven jobs created in the service industry. IDA Ireland will continue to facilitate the coming together of foreign investors and our own domestic companies in the years to come.”


Photos will be syndicated by Maxwell Photography.

For further information contact:

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland  M: +353 (0)87 9671342  E:

Paula Chase, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland M: +353 (0)87 9974207  E:

Kevin Sammon, Head of PR, Corporate Communications, IDA Ireland. M: +353 (0)87 6188564. E:

Notes to Editors

  • With the support of Enterprise Ireland, Irish exporters created over 21,118 new jobs in 2015. This resulted in a net increase of 10,169 in the number of people employed by Enterprise Ireland supported companies, the highest net gain in the history of the agency. 64% of new jobs were created outside of Dublin. This increase in employment reinforces Enterprise Ireland’s strategy of driving innovation, scale and leadership positions in international markets and new sectors.


  • This continuation of employment growth clearly demonstrates the direct impact that increasing exports has on jobs in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland supported companies now, directly and indirectly, account for more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy - 16% of total workforce.


  • IDA: In 2015 the total employment of overseas companies stands at 187,056 people, the highest level on record. With IDA client companies created just under 19,000 (18,983) jobs on the ground during 2015 across a range of sectors, with every region of Ireland posting net gains in jobs. With more than one-in-five private sector jobs in the economy (direct and indirect employment), are as a result of IDA-supported FDI representing a vital economic contribution by the multinational sector.