News & Events

Minister Breen leads 25 companies on Enterprise Ireland Trade Visit to Antwerp, Belgium

Focus is on developing export opportunities for Irish high-tech construction companies

Pat Breen TD Minister for Employment and Small Business will lead an Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Antwerp in Belgium today (20th April 2017).

The aim of the trade visit is to promote Ireland’s extensive experience and capability within the high-tech construction and engineering sectors. The programme provides four key networking opportunities for the 25 participating Irish companies to make new high-level business contacts in the Belgian pharmaceutical, engineering and construction sectors.

Speaking on his arrival in Belgium, Minister Breen said “The aim of this trade visit is to develop further long-term business prospects for Irish construction companies with the pharmaceutical industry in Belgium and the wider Benelux region. Brexit will be a critical factor in our longer-term economic strategy and is reflected in the Government’s trade strategy Ireland Connected: Trading and Investing in a Dynamic World. The Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is encouraging Irish companies to diversify into new markets with a particular focus on market opportunities within the Eurozone area. The message is simple - prepare now and be fully equipped to meet both the challenges and the opportunities arising from Brexit. I’m delighted to learn that over 300 Irish exporting companies have completed the Brexit SME Scorecard since it was launched three weeks ago as part of Enterprise Ireland’s Prepare for Brexit Campaign. Through Enterprise Ireland, the Government will continue to work with exporting companies – by helping them become more competitive and diversifying market exposure”.

During the visit Minister Breen will address a ‘prepare for Brexit’ seminar, and an Enterprise Ireland seminar designed to develop partnerships between Irish and Belgian companies who supply or manufacture products within the European pharmaceutical industry.

He will also meet Enterprise Ireland clients during a lunch-time forum on the topic ‘Building scale in a changing economic climate’. The main trade dinner will be attended by 80 participants from representatives of the Irish and Belgian business communities and the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering.

Leo McAdams, International Sales & Partnering Manager, Enterprise Ireland said “This trade visit to Belgium is one of over 40 international trade visits planned by Enterprise Ireland this year to further increase exports from client companies. Exports from the Irish construction and engineering sector account for €57M*. This visit aims to build on this success by demonstrating how Irish high-tech construction companies can meet the needs of the Belgian pharmaceutical industry. It is part of Enterprise Ireland’s drive to increase the export market penetration and diversification of Irish companies post Brexit”.


For further information contact:

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland. 01-7272912 / 087 9671342 or

Paula Chase, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland. 01-7272842 / 087-9974207 or

Notes to the Editor:

*Figures from Enterprise Ireland’s Annual Business Review survey of clients 2015.