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An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD to accompany President Michael D. Higgins on a State Visit to Australia, which includes Ireland’s largest programme of activity in support of the work of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in Australia

As part of the State Visit to Australia by President Michael D. Higgins, which aims to strengthen the economic, tourism, cultural and political links between both nations, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD will accompany the President for a programme of activity in support of the work of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in Australia. This will be the largest programme of activity that has been undertaken for this region.

Over 50 Enterprise Ireland client companies will participate on the trade and investment programme, spanning 9 sectors including, Digital Technologies, FinTech, Healthcare, Construction, Engineering and Consumer Products.

The programme will include IDA client companies and target investments from the following sectors: Software and IT Services, Business Services and Financial Services.

Announcing details of the Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland trade and investment programme to Australia, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD said “I am delighted to accompany President Michael D. Higgins on the State Visit to Australia and engage in an extensive programme of activity which focuses on supporting Irish companies to expand exports into this significant market. Building awareness internationally of the Irish capability in key sectors is critically important, particularly in light of Brexit. I am working closely with the agencies in my Department who have intensified their efforts on increasing the export market penetration and diversification of Irish companies into alternative markets, such as Australia. I look forward to engaging with key decision makers at the highest levels in Government and Industry to promote Ireland as a source of world-class products and services.”

Speaking ahead of the visit, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said “The trade and investment programme, organised in the context of the President's State Visit to Australia is the largest that we have undertaken in the region to date and indicative of the opportunities that we see for innovative Irish companies in the Australian market. Expanding the Irish export footprint in markets beyond the UK is a key priority, in the context of the British exit from the European Union and the Asia Pac region delivered double-digit growth for Enterprise Ireland clients in 2016 with an impressive 16% year on year gain, making it the second fastest growing region for Enterprise Ireland backed companies in 2016.

The trade programme associated with this Presidential State Visit involves over 50 Enterprise Ireland clients across a wide range of sectors such as Fintech, Digital Health, Telco and Talent Management solutions. It builds on the strong foothold of Irish companies in the Australian market where Enterprise Ireland backed companies experienced 14% growth in exports in 2016 and ambitious targets have been set to double Irish exports to Australia by 2020.

The presence of President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins supports the trade and investment programme and underpins the work being undertaken by Enterprise Ireland and its client companies to lever off the excellent trade and economic relationships that exist between Ireland and Australia and to expand their reach in more diversified market portfolios.”

During the Presidential visit, many participating Enterprise Ireland client companies will announce partnerships and new business in the market.

President Michael D Higgins and the Tánaiste will meet with high level executives in a number of IDA's existing client companies and potential investors in Ireland. The visit will assist IDA Ireland in strengthening its relationships with key senior executives in these companies.

In addition, IDA Ireland will engage with target clients, key influencers, investors and business advisors at a number of business events to promote Ireland as the gateway to Europe for Australian companies.

Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland who will accompany the President and the Tánaiste said "We welcome the opportunity of the State visit to raise Ireland’s profile in Australia. Building geographical diversity into IDA Ireland's portfolio is a key goal of our ‘Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019’ strategy. Australia is one of the markets targeted to achieve this. IDA already has 23 client companies from Australia employing almost 1,000 people and we are seeing increasing interest from the Market.

Ireland is attractive to Australian companies due of the ease of doing business here, including our common law system and English language. Australian companies also recognise the importance of our commitment to the European Union, which brings with it access to a market of 500 million people as well as international talent. Given Australia's distance from the European market, Ireland's long track record of supporting and growing international companies and the management capability that comes with that are also attractive to Australian investment. This Trade and Investment mission will be an opportunity to meet with clients in their own headquarters where we can deepen existing relationships and hopefully attract new business to Ireland"


For further information:

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland 087-9671342Marika MacCarvill, Press & Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland 01-7272857 / 086-171 2568

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.