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Nuacht & Imeachtaí

Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D. on three-day Trade Mission to Finland and Sweden

14th March 2012

Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D. departs today (Wednesday) for a three day Trade Mission to Finland and Sweden.

The purpose of the visit is to support the work of Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Embassies and state agencies Bord BIA, IDA Ireland and Tourism Ireland.  The Embassy and the agencies cooperate intensively in a concerted effort to increase Ireland's economic and business footprint in Finland and Sweden.

Speaking before he departed the Minister said:

“Economic recovery in international markets is fuelling increased demand for Irish products and services. Irish companies are widening their market reach, expanding into new international markets and opening up new business. Multinationals are increasing their foreign investment in Ireland and their exports from their Irish operations.

“Enterprise Ireland (EI) is the trade and technology board of the Irish government. Its overseas role is to ensure that the business partners, customers and associates of Irish companies are fully informed of the benefits of trading with Ireland. EI acts as an important gateway for Irish industry and technology in developing political, economic and commercial links between Ireland and Sweden and Finland and actively works with these countries companies and governments to source product and services from Ireland.

“As Minister for Small Business, I am well aware of Finland’s success in growing its economy from the recession of the 1990s by focusing on innovation and investment in the knowledge economy. We see Finland as a role model both in Europe and globally, for its strategic policy of significant R&D investment and its support for home-grown innovation. My visit to Finland is to see how some of their best practices could be translated into an effective Irish industrial policy framework.

“As two countries dependent on exports for growth, I was pleased to see that our joint initiative, along with some other EU Member States, to expedite the full implementation of the Single Market, including the Digital Single Market, was fully endorsed by the EU Informal Council. In addition, our proposals that SMEs should urgently get greater access to finance, with less red tape, in order to enhance their ability to grow and create jobs in our respective countries, was also adopted. The specific measures agreed to promote growth should ensure that the 23 million European SMEs will remain the backbone of economic success and the key provider of new jobs in our economies.

“My visit also signals the continuing importance of Finland as a market place for Irish goods and services. It is a further demonstration of my Government’s support to Irish companies, who are building these commercial connections to deliver on this potential.

“One of the aims of my visit to Sweden is to raise the profile of Ireland as a world-class supplier of high technology products and services to the Swedish market. Specifically, we want to promote the product and service capability of Irish companies currently doing business here and to encourage mutually beneficial collaborative business ventures.

“We operate in markets and sectors that are characterised by rapid and dynamic change. International partnership is a key component of this, and Irish companies are increasingly involved in sourcing relationships, strategic alliances, joint ventures, product/process licensing and collaborative R&D with international partners.

Note to Editors: Extracts from Minister Perry’s Schedule are as follows:

Wednesday 14th March, 2012

20.15pm Attend Dinner with Ambassador

Thursday 15th March, 2012

10.00 Meeting with Finnish State Secretary of Trade

11.15 EI Photo call at the EI Trade Networking Lunch

11.30 Address the EI Trade Networking Lunch

13.30 Meeting with CEO of Otaniemi Innovation Research Park in Espoo to discuss collaboration opportunities for Irish Start-ups and Finnish Industry including a tour of the Otaniemi Entrepreneur Start-up Facilities

17.30 Attend Tourism Ireland “Greening Event” Stockholm, Sweden

19:30 Address Dinner for senior Tourism Ireland trade partners, EI guests and senior members of the IPNN (Irish Professional Nordic Network) in Sweden. Companies attending include, Volvo, Skanska & Ericsson, 2

Friday March 16th 2012

08:10 Photo call at Irish Embassy with specific EI clients and their customers

08:30AddressTrade breakfast at the Irish Embassy where specific EI clients and their customers will be in attendance

10:00 Round table discussion with EI clients participating in the Energy Efficiency Seminar

10.45 Bilateral Meeting with Swedish Minister of Trade

11.45AddressEI / Glen Dimplex Energy Efficiency Seminar and lunch


For further information please contact:

Roisin McCann, Press Officer, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: 631 2222/ 087/2594144 press.office@djei.ie

Sinéad Fennell, Communications Advisor to Minister Perry 086 6075266