“Breaking New Ground” - Minister Bruton Leads First Irish Trade Mission to Southern United States

Ireland Targets New Areas of USA to Boost Irish Exports

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mr Richard Bruton T.D. today (Monday 19th September 2011) commences a week-long Enterprise Ireland trade mission to the Southern States of the United States.  This is the first Irish Government trade mission to this part of the US.  The aim of the mission is to widen the export footprint of Irish exporters by exploring new opportunities in the fast growing South East States of Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.

Sixty Irish firms are participating in the mission which is part of Enterprise Ireland’s autumn schedule of overseas events organised to drive Irish exports in high growth markets. The Minister’s schedule includes:

  • Political meetings with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Florida Governor Rick Scott, North Carolina Governor Beverly Purdue and Mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte;
  • Visits to high-tech institutes at Georgia Tech, University of Miami and North Carolina Research Triangle;
  • Events to promote Irish exporters in telecommunications, food, life sciences, cleantech and biotech.

Announcing the mission, Minister Bruton said:

“Jobs are at the very top of this government’s agenda, and if we are to create the employment we so badly need, it is crucial that we create an indigenous engine of growth. 90% of our exports are still accounted for by foreign companies, and if we are to create the future we all aspire to, we must achieve a step-change in the performance of our indigenous exporters.

“On this trade mission I will be visiting three fast-growing American States where Irish exports are weak, and targeting sectors where we can build on strengths we already have, including life sciences, cleantech, financial services and food. Through a series of political discussions, partnering events and other meetings I hope to open doors to Irish exporters which can help enable them to capture greater export market share and ultimately expand and create the jobs we so badly need”.

“However we must do more, and over the coming months I will be revealing details of my plan to create an indigenous engine of growth.

EnterpriseIreland’s CEO Frank Ryan added:

“Exports of Irish-owned companies to the USA grew by 14% in 2010.  However, we need to widen both our business sectoral and geographical focus in US to sustain this growth.  Irish companies are only ever one stop-over away from almost any major metropolitan location in the US and the demand for Irish goods in those areas should be as keen as it is in our traditional US markets. 

“The rapidly-growing economies of these three Southern States are just as pro-business as anywhere else in the States and hold great potential for Irish exports.  They are large economies in their own right with the GDP of each of these states being equivalent to countries such as Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland.  They are also locations for growing sectors in which Ireland has expertise such as telecommunications, healthcare, biotechnology, logistics, information technology, financial services and aerospace.”


About Enterprise Ireland

EnterpriseIreland is the Irish government agency responsible for the development and promotion of the indigenous business sector. Its mission is to accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity.

About the Trade Mission

This week-long trade mission to the South East United States will take in Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte and Raleigh.

Sixty Irish companies are participating representing companies from sectors including Banking Technology, Life Sciences, Information Technology, Mobile Telecommunications, Agricultural Technology, Aerospace Consumer Products and Cleantech.

The main objective of the mission is to widen the export footprint of Irish exporters by exploring new opportunities in the fast growing South East States of Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.

These states have been chosen because:

  • They are large economies in their own right. The GDP of each of these states is equivalent to counties such as Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • They are locations for growing sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare, biotechnology, logistics, information technology, banking and aerospace.
  • Charlotteand Atlanta are major world transportation hubs.
  • Charlottehas the largest concentration of Financial Services activities in US after New York.
  • Miamiis a major gateway to the growing economies of Latin America and 40% of all exports to Latin America pass through Florida.
  • North Carolina (Raleigh Research Triangle Park) is one of the top Green Energy locations globally and also a major center for Lifesciences research. 

The intensive schedule incorporates nine client sectoral events, five large networking events as well as a number of Ministerial one-to-one meetings with key customers, civic leaders and members of Irish global diaspora.  Enterprise Ireland is also providing each participating company with an individual itinerary of meetings with key potential customers and partners.

Science Foundation Ireland Researchers are also taking part in the mission to deepen current research collaboration with research institutions in the region, including the University of Miami and the Research Triangle Institute.  IDA and Bórd Bia are also taking part.

For further information contact:

Ciara O'Mahony
Enterprise Ireland

Ciara O'Mahony
01 7272284
087 2043435