News & Events

Minister Calleary leads trade visit to Poland and Czech Republic

  • In 2022, Irish exports to Poland and Czech Republic grew by 29% and 23%, respectively

  • 442 Enterprise Ireland client companies active in Poland and Czech Republic with almost 87 companies having a full-time presence

  • Dara Calleary TD, Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation today will commence Enterprise Ireland’s trade visit to Poland and Czech Republic  

Minister Calleary will visit several Irish companies operating in both countries, showcasing their success in the region and highlighting the exciting opportunities for Irish companies in Central Eastern Europe to establish, scale, and grow their business. Poland and the Czech Republic are EU member states and this growing trade with EU member states is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland.

In 2022, Enterprise Ireland client exports to Poland rose significantly to €390 million, 29% growth on the previous year, while Irish exports to the Czech Republic increased by 23% to €126 million, illustrating the importance of Irish-owned companies' success and growth in Central Eastern Europe. Poland is the largest market, with the Czech Republic, second largest single market for Enterprise Ireland client companies in Central Eastern Europe.  

Leading the mission, Minister Calleary said:

“I want to acknowledge the remarkable success of Irish-owned companies in Central Eastern Europe and the important contribution they make to industry. Over 20,000 people in Poland and the Czech Republic are employed by Irish Companies across industries such as Agritech, Pharmaceuticals, and Engineering. There are strong links and connections between Ireland and Poland and Czech Republic respectively driven by a shared sense of values and community that is evident in the strong interpersonal relations and economic links between our countries." 

There are a number of examples of Irish companies scaling operations in Central Eastern Europe. For example, Smurfit Kappa, which already has five production plants in Poland, has just invested a further €40 million in their Polish operations in Pruszkow increasing both production capacity and employment there. The expansion makes the plant Smurfit Kappa’s largest in Poland and one of the most high-tech and modern packaging plants in Europe.

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

“It is wonderful to see such a broad range of Irish companies operating successfully in Central Eastern Europe. The region is a safe business environment, and I would encourage other Irish companies to explore the potential that this region offers. Experienced teams in Poland and the Czech Republic are ready and able to assist client companies looking to export to CEE.”

Key highlights of the trade mission include:

  • visit to Enterprise Ireland client companies based in Warsaw and Prague including ICON, PM Group, JFC, Kingspan and Exergyn  
  • roundtable discussion on digitech/cyber security sector
  • meeting with Czech business partners of ATA Group, Portwest, Realtime Technologies and Ventac in Prague
  • meeting with Czech Minister of Industry and Trade

Minister Calleary will also visit Irish-owned clinical research organisation, ICON in Warsaw. ICON Poland now employs over 1,148 people across two offices located in Warsaw and Gdańsk which makes ICON the largest clinical trials company in Poland with over 200 active studies in Poland. ICON also played a critical role in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.  

Kingspan will celebrate 25 years of operations in the Czech Republic, their Hradec Králové facility was the first Czech plant to be bought during their eastern European expansion in 1998. With over 200 facilities in the group, Kingspan have an active Planet Passionate programme focused on factory and product sustainability, tackling the three big global challenges – climate change, circularity, and environmental protection.

Target sectors for Irish companies looking to scale in the region include high tech construction, engineering, agritech, lifesciences, tech, climate change solutions and education.