News & Events

Minister Dara Calleary leads first ever Irish trade mission to the UN City in Copenhagen to boost global procurement opportunities for Irish companies

  • Irish exports to the United Nations (UN) have grown strongly from $15 million in 2014 to $150 million in 2021
  • UN Procurement Seminar in Copenhagen offers Enterprise Ireland companies cost effective ways to access global opportunities 
  • Key UN export categories for Irish exporters include life sciences, medical equipment, medical supplies, IT and communication 

Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation, Dara Calleary TD is today leading Enterprise Ireland’s first ever trade mission to the UN City in Copenhagen to boost global procurement opportunities for Irish companies. 

Minister Calleary will launch and promote Ireland’s presence at the 2023 UN International Procurement Seminar, hosted in collaboration with trade agencies from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. 18 specialised Enterprise Ireland client companies from across a range of sectors will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to key UN procurement personnel from nine of the UN agencies located in the UN City.

Commenting ahead of Ireland’s participation at the UN International Procurement Seminar, Minister Calleary , said:

“I am delighted to lead this trade visit to the UN International Procurement Seminar to meet our long-standing partners as well as have the opportunity to engage with new ones. Irish exports to the UN have grown strongly in recent years from $15 million in 2014 to $150 million in 2022. Events like this play a crucial role in offering Enterprise Ireland client companies cost effective and efficient ways to access procurement opportunities across the globe as well as network with specialised UK & Dutch companies they may collaborate with on future projects.

“It's also an opportune time to celebrate the success of Irish companies in the Nordic region and build on this growth. Trade between Ireland and Denmark has doubled over the last 25 years, now sitting at over €4.5 billion euro per year. I look forward to further collaboration between both regions for the mutual benefit of both of our countries.”

In 2021, the United Nations procured goods and services to a value of almost $30 billion. Ireland has progressed from the 109th most significant supplier in 2014 to 42nd in 2021 with the number of Irish based companies registered to do business with the UN increasing from 184 to 534 in that time. 

While Irish exports to the UN have grown significantly over the last 10 years there is still huge scope for Irish companies to win more contracts with agencies and to pursue opportunities with International Financial Institutions (IFIs). At present there are 40 Enterprise Ireland companies highly active in this space. 

Speaking about the trade mission, Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland said:

“Enterprise Ireland assists enterprises in taking a strategic approach to their international growth plans, to maximise procurement opportunities, including in the public sector, and to build scale in global markets. This trade visit and International Procurement Seminar is an important opportunity to support Enterprise Ireland client companies become more aware of and compete for the significant opportunities that exist across a wide range of sectors within the UN.”

The previous UN International Procurement Seminar was held virtually in 2021, with 35 Enterprise Ireland supported companies attending 80 meetings with UN agencies. Six of the Irish companies that participated in 2021 collectively secured over $1 million in contracts (as recorded in UN sales figures for 2021) with further business expected.

The trade visit will also highlight the opportunity for accelerated growth for Enterprise Ireland clients in the Nordics region, which is a growing region of importance for Irish exporters. In 2021 exports of Enterprise Ireland supported companies to the Nordic region reached €1.24 billion, a 31% growth on the previous year. Denmark is the leading digital economy in the EU and offers strong business opportunities in life sciences, big data, cleantech, cyber security and fintech. 

The Nordics is a critically important strategic market for Irish exporters with 560 Enterprise Ireland client companies exporting to the region with 328 of those companies exporting to Denmark.

Key elements of the Trade Mission to Copenhagen include:

  • the United Nations International Procurement Seminar
  • business meetings with the visiting UN delegation and leaders in the business community in Copenhagen
  • briefing with Enterprise Ireland client companies at the Embassy of Ireland 
  • meeting with Digital Hub Denmark
  • Enterprise Ireland client meetings and site visit to AMCS, a leading Irish company with operations in Copenhagen. AMCS offers Cloud based Waste Management Software solutions for the waste, recycling and resource industries