Minister Bruton leads trade mission of 36 Irish companies to France

Total of 199 companies involved in mission aimed at building on €10billion annual exports

36 companies are travelling this morning (Saturday 30th June 2012) with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton on a 3-day trade mission to France, organised by Enterprise Ireland.  

Exports of Irish-owned companies to France have been experiencing strong growth – 14% in 2011 – and total Irish exports to France are now worth €10billion per year.  One of the key aims of the mission is to build on this momentum to further increase sales by Irish companies with existing and new local partners in France.  A total of 199 companies, 53 Irish and 146 French, are involved in the mission which is part of Enterprise Ireland’s schedule of trade missions to key priority international markets to drive increased Irish exports.  

The participating Irish companies are drawn from a range of sectors with a particular focus on highlighting the depth of capability Irish companies have to offer in agri-technology and the cleantech sectors.

Minister Bruton’s schedule during the visit includes a series of meetings across the Brittany and Paris regions with leading French companies and their Irish partners and events to promote Irish exporters in key sectors: agri-technologies, cleantech, engineering and construction.  This intensive schedule reflects the importance which the Government attaches to Ireland’s economic and trade relationship with France.

This is the ninth major trade and investment mission Minister Bruton has undertaken sine taking office.

Speaking before his departure Minister Bruton said:  ‘Two-way trade between Ireland and France is currently running at record levels and there is a clear opportunity for further substantial growth over the next three years.  France is now Ireland’s fourth largest export market and the third largest market for Irish-owned SME exports. The continued strong growth of Irish companies exports to France, at 14% in 2011, represents an excellent performance and highlights that there are significant further opportunities for increased trade and partnerships between Irish and French companies.  

‘Jobs are at the very top of this Government’s agenda, and a central part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to increase export activity with key markets such as France. Our trade relationship with France is already very strong and this mission is about cementing and building on these existing links and opening new doors for increased export business and collaborative business ventures’.  

Enterprise Ireland’s CEO Frank Ryan who is accompanying Minister Bruton on the mission added:  ‘France is the third largest export market for Irish companies and a significant trading partner with Ireland. Ministerial led missions to strategically important markets and trading partners such as France are a key part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy to further scale our bilateral trade and exports to established markets. Exports of Irish-owned companies to France grew by 14% in 2011, reflecting the demand for the world class goods and services which Irish companies have to offer. There are excellent growth opportunities for innovation-led, export focused Irish firms in the French market and Enterprise Ireland is on hand to help those companies in this market.  A large number of Irish companies are already operating successfully in France and we are confident that a number of further business successes will result from this trip’.


For further information contact:

Eileen Banks
Enterprise Ireland,
Press Officer

Eileen Banks
 01 7272805
087 2445814