Minister Sherlock Leads Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission to Japan

‘Medical Devices and Functional Foods Key Focus for Export Growth’ - Sherlock

The Minister for Research and Innovation Mr Sean Sherlock TD today (Saturday 27 October, 2012) departs on a week-long Enterprise Ireland Functional Foods and Lifesciences trade mission to Japan.  Enterprise Ireland has organised this focussed mission as there is particular potential for growth in these sectors in Japan.

Fourteen of Ireland’s leading and most innovative food and lifesciences companies are taking part in the mission along with Bord Bia and Teagasc.

The Japanese market for functional foods is estimated to be worth €8.13billion with drinking yogurts the largest sub-sector at €2.5billion.  Meanwhile, Japan is the second largest pharmaceutical and medical device market in the world valued at $96billion in 2010.

Announcing the mission Minister Sherlock said:

“Supporting indigenous businesses to grow and export is central to the Government’s plans for recovery, growth and jobs. The objective of this trade mission is to continue delivering on these plans by highlight Ireland’s capabilities in food innovation and lifesciences technology. These two sectors are increasingly important in terms of Irish exports to Japan and offer significant potential for further growth in Japan.

“The innovative quality of Ireland’s food and lifesciences products, the strong Japanese demand and the active interest of Irish companies in doing business in Japan all combine to create significant potential for winning new business during this mission.

“I am also conscious of the significance of the Japanese market for Irish goods and services which presents many opportunities for Irish companies.   In 2011 Ireland exported nearly 3bn worth of goods and services to Japan making it our 11th largest export market.   A large proportion of our goods exports were accounted for by products in the pharmachem/medical devices sectors”, Minister Sherlock concluded.

Eddie Hughes, Enterprise Ireland’s Japan Director added:

“Irish innovative food and lifesciences technology companies, such as those taking part in this mission, continue to be successful across the world.  Japan is a sophisticated market but likewise, Irish companies are at the cutting edge in both Lifesciences and Functional Foods technologies.  So Japan’s requirements are closely matched by Ireland’s research and processing capabilities in these sectors.”

The mission will involve key meetings between Irish companies and potential Japanese partners such as Suntory, Meiji, Terumo and Astellas Pharma as well as a Food Innovation Seminar and a Lifesciences Seminar for Irish and Japanese companies.

 The Minister will also undertake a number of key stakeholder meetings including the Japan Science and Technology Agency, the National Food Research Institute and the Riken Institute with the key objective of increasing international research collaboration between Irish and Japanese companies and research institutes.


For further information, please contact:

Ciara Concanon
Press and PR Manager
Enterprise Ireland

Ciara Concannon
01 7272284
087 2043435