News & Events

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation leads Enterprise Ireland and IDA Trade and Investment Mission to Japan

  • Increasing exports to Japan is a key Brexit response to support Irish companies to diversify and grow in the AsiaPac Region
  • Mission is an opportunity for IDA to promote Ireland as a Gateway to Europe for Japanese investors
  • 50 Enterprise Ireland supported companies with a focus on financial services, life sciences and digital technologies participating on the trade mission
  • Decawave’s next generation UWB chip will support Japanese bands, triggering a new wave of products and services for Japan
  • Aalto Bio Reagents, a leading supplier to the in-vitro diagnostics industrysigns first distribution agreement with Japanese partner, Veritas Corporation

Global Ireland video promoting Ireland to Japanese audiences

Against the backdrop of Brexit and a clear focus on diversifying Irish exports and increasing investment to Ireland from Japanese companies, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, will lead over 50 Enterprise Ireland client companies on an Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland trade and investment mission to Japan today.

The trade mission will focus on strengthening Ireland’s longstanding relationship with Japan, Ireland’s eleventh largest trading partner, and driving the growth of trade between Ireland and Japan, a key gateway to the Asia Pacific region. As well as promoting Ireland as a Gateway to Europe for Japanese investment.

With the unparalleled exposure of Ireland during the Rugby World Cup the Trade and Investment mission is an opportunity to raise the profile of Ireland’s trade and investment offering in Japan.

During the five-day trade mission, Minister Humphreys will attend a series of engagements that are tailored to key areas of focus, including digital and technology, life sciences and industrial, and financial services industry events. The agenda also includes a meeting with Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation.

Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing regions for Enterprise Ireland backed companies. Over 600 Enterprise Ireland companies are currently exporting to the region with exports of over €2bn, which increased by 80% over the last five years. 22% of clients have identified the Asia Pacific region as a key target market for export growth.

The trade mission takes place on foot of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which entered into force on 1 February 2019, with Ireland hoping to boost exports to Japan under the economic partnership pact. EU firms already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year.

Speaking on her arrival to Japan, Minister Humphreys said, “Against the backdrop of Brexit and the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, it is an opportune time for Ireland and Japan to broaden and deepen our trade and investment links. Market diversification has never been more strategically important for Ireland.

Exports by Enterprise Ireland supported companies to Japan reached a value of €216m in 2018, highlighting that the increasing ambition of Irish companies is resonating with Japanese customers and partners. My aim over the coming days is to build awareness of the participating companies, highlighting their innovation and capability in key industries. I look forward to engaging with key decision makers at the highest levels in Government and industry to promote Ireland as both a source of world-class products and services and as a world-leading destination for FDI,” she added.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “Our trade mission to Japan is targeting significant growth opportunities for globally ambitious Irish companies who recognize the vast potential of this dynamic and influential market. Expanding the Irish export footprint is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland, and we are working closely with Irish enterprise to realise opportunities to support greater market diversification throughout the Asia Pacific region. The trade mission to Japan is part of Enterprise Ireland’s market diversification strategy which includes the aim of increasing Irish exports to markets outside of the UK by 50% by 2020.”

The Trade and Investment mission also offers the opportunity to clarify the investment message surrounding Brexit and convey Ireland’s investment proposition in a post-Brexit world. Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland says: “Despite Ireland’s close proximity to the UK and close economic relationship with them, we want to make clear to our current and future potential international investors that Ireland’s investment proposition remains strong and wholly independent of political actions taken in the UK. This trade and investment mission is an excellent and timely way to do that.”

IDA is running a video-led social media promotion on Twitter and Facebook which includes an abridged version of a promotional video IDA Ireland was involved in creating with the Department of Foreign Affairs and other agencies.

Martin Shanahan added: “This is a terrific opportunity to promote Ireland as a world class business location and to relay the strong message that Ireland is a gateway to Europe, an excellent location choice for those investors considering establishing operations in Europe and very much open for business.”

The trade mission seeks to further strengthen the strong trade ties which currently exist between Ireland and Japan.

Irish semiconductor company Decawave, a pioneer in UWB Integrated Circuit delivering high accuracy indoor location data and simultaneous secure communication, and with a presence in Japan for five years,  today announced that their next generation UWB chip will support the Japanese band and that they are already working with Japanese partners Persol on a new wave of products and services suitable for the local market. The adoption by Apple of the UWB technology for their iPhones will further fuel the creativity of Japanese companies especially in the consumer. Decawave technology is deployed in more than 7 million devices around the world across 40 different markets ranging from automotive, industrial to consumer.

During the trade mission, Aalto Bio Reagents, a leading developer and provider of raw materials to the in-vitro diagnostics industry and to research laboratories globally will sign their first distribution agreement with a Japanese partner, Veritas Corporation. The Japanese in-vitro diagnostic market has been forecasted to grow to $4.3 billion by 2025.

Philip Noone, CEO of Aalto Bio Reagents, said “We are excited to be collaborating with such an esteemed partner in Japan, allowing us to target a fifth new market this year identified under our strategic growth plan.”

Other Enterprise Ireland companies focused on growing in the Japanese market:

Daon, a global leader in biometric identity technology, have established Polarify in Japan, a joint venture of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group/Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMFG/ SMBC), Daon and NTT Data. Polarify offer an efficient way for banks and other service providers in Japan to replace existing customer authentication methods with secure and convenient biometric authentication and adopt a paperless Know Your Customer (KYC) process for streamlined digital onboarding.

Irish sports tech company Kitman Labs, the leading performance and health analytics provider in the world is working with over 40 sporting leagues including the English Premier League to Premiership Rugby. In Japan, Kitman Labs are working with the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes rugby team and Yokohama BayStars baseball team and is focused on expanding in Japan, following significant growth in the Asia Pacific region, with clients in China, New Zealand and Australia.

Taxback International have also recently expanded into the Asia Pacific region due to increased demand for Consumption Tax compliance and recovery services.

MyComplianceOffice, a global compliance solutions provider with over 500 customers in 80 countries, recently announced a new office and leadership to support their continued growth across the region.


Media Contacts

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland

Marika MacCarvill, International PR, Enterprise Ireland / 00 353 86 171 2568

Kevin Sammon, Head of Communications, IDA Ireland

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.