News & Events

65% of Enterprise Ireland client companies who are not yet exporting to the Eurozone plan to enter the market in the next 12 months – Survey Results

  • Attendance up by a third at International Markets Week, as companies work with Enterprise Ireland to plan their diversification strategy in response to Brexit  
  • Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland unveils new digital #IrishAdvantage export promotion campaign to drive international buyer introductions for Irish businesses   

A survey of Enterprise Ireland client companies attending International Markets Week shows that the Eurozone is the key region where they see the greatest opportunity for their business, with almost two out of three of those who are not currently exporting to the Eurozone (65%) planning to do so in the next 12 months. 

According to the results of the survey of client companies registered to attend International Markets Week: 

  • 44% of respondents consider the Eurozone to be one of the main target regions for their business, with 30% selecting North America and 15% favouring Asia Pacific.     
  • Within the Eurozone, respondents indicated Germany (22%), France (16%), Netherlands (14%), Belgium (11%), and Spain (11%) as countries with the most export potential for their business.
  • Lack of market  information (23%), costs (22%), human resources (17%), languages (13%), the need to adapt products (11%), and regulation (10%) are the main challenges businesses perceive in entering a new export market.


International Markets Week, which opens today at the RDS, will host a record 600 client companies over three days, representing a 33% increase on 2016. More than 130 international Market Advisors from Enterprise Ireland’s 33 overseas offices have returned to Ireland to participate in 2,000 client company meetings, advising Irish companies on global export opportunities and how to diversify into new markets in response to Brexit. 

For the first time, International Markets Week will also feature a dedicated Brexit Zone, where experts will offer practical advice and assistance to 176 client companies exporting to the UK. 

Opening International Markets Week, An Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation said: “The Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is working to deliver a stronger, more diversified indigenous export sector which has an expanded footprint in the Eurozone and other growth markets. This will make an even greater contribution to jobs and economic growth in Ireland. I can assure you that the government is doing everything possible to respond strongly to the impacts of Brexit in order to safeguard Irish jobs, safeguard investment and expand exports in companies in every part of the country. The additional resources which we have put into Enterprise Ireland overseas offices, and the expertise and supports on offer at International Markets Week 2017 will help Irish businesses to respond to the challenges of Brexit in 2018 and beyond. ”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Eurozone is our second largest export market and it is encouraging that 44 per cent of our client companies see the Eurozone as having the most potential for their business in the future.  Enterprise Ireland launched a new Eurozone Strategy this year to assist Irish exporters to increase exports in Eurozone countries by 50 per cent by 2020.” 

As part of the diversification drive, Enterprise Ireland is launching a new Irish Advantage campaign to promote the advantages of sourcing suppliers from Ireland directly to buyers in key export markets where trade opportunities and Free Trade agreements exist. 

“The campaign launches in the Eurozone this month focusing initially on two sectors – construction and Medtech services – across three key markets - France, Germany and the Netherlands. This will quickly scale into a wider campaign encompassing multiple sectors and a wider mix of markets. Diversification is at the very heart of this digital campaign, and it aims to support Irish companies to overcome the challenges of Brexit by opening doors for Irish businesses with major international buyers,” concluded Julie Sinnamon. 

International Markets Week takes place from 6th-8th September 2017 at the RDS. 


Contact:  Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland

087 967 1342 /                            

Nicola Corboy, Press & Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland

01 727 2973 / 086 021 0114 

Photographs will be issued to the picture desks by Chris Bellew, Fennell Photography by 10.00am 

Note to Editor:

Brexit Zone: International Markets Week will feature a dedicated Brexit Zone where client companies will conduct personal meetings with independent specialist experts. These experts will guide Enterprise Ireland clients on how to manage currency risk, optimize supply chain, create transport & logistics solutions, improve sales and marketing capability, and unearth new opportunities both within the UK and in global markets.