Minister Bruton leads 4-day trade mission of 40 Irish companies to Texas aimed at growing exports to USA

5th March 2013

Enterprise Ireland programme includes over 20 trade events and meetings as well as meetings with target multinational companies

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, departs today [Tuesday 5th March, 2013] on a 4-day trade mission of 40 innovative exporting Irish companies to Texas.

Over the course of the 4-day Enterprise Ireland programme, the Minister will attend over 20 trade events and meetings in Houston, Dallas and Austin, as well as holding meetings with multinational companies already investing or considering investing in Ireland.

Over the last decade the State of Texas has become the USA’s second-largest economy – displacing New York and challenging California. It is now the 15th-largest economy in the world, roughly the same size as Spain, with a high concentration of telecoms, banking, social media, electronics, cleantech, medical device, network and web companies. Economic shifts towards southern US states offer significant opportunities for Irish companies seeking to expand their presence in the US, or grow exports to new markets.

This is the 13th major trade/investment mission that Minister Bruton has undertaken in 23 months. Total global Irish exports in 2011 were 10% higher than in 2007, the highest pre-crisis figure. In the first 9 months of 2012 total exports were up 6% on the same period in 2011. Exports of Irish-owned companies to the US are experiencing strong growth and total Irish exports to the US are now worth €18.1bn per year.

Companies travelling on the trade mission along with Minister Bruton and Enterprise Ireland CEO Frank Ryan include high-growth start-ups with fewer than 10 employees to more established Irish companies employing hundreds of people, in sectors including ICT, high-tech manufacturing, education and training, and financial services.

Among the engagements which Minister Bruton will participate in during the intensive 4-day programme are:

  • Over 20 trade and investment events and meetings aimed principally at facilitating export opportunities for Irish companies.
  • Attendance at the high-profile South x South West Trade Show in Austin where 16 Irish web/interactive companies will pitch their solutions to the Venture Capital community, potential customers, and leading commentators.
  • Several meetings with world-leading multinational companies who have operations in Ireland or are considering investing here.
  • 3 engagements with USA media aimed at continuing to communicate the message that Ireland is open for business.
  • Meeting with Rick Perry, Governor of Texas to discuss trade and investment issues

Speaking before his departure, Minister Bruton said:

“At the heart of the Government’s plan for jobs and growth is our ambition to create a powerful engine of indigenous enterprise. As part of the transition to a new economy based on enterprise, innovation and exports that we are supporting, we must not only continue to grow jobs in multinational companies, but also support ambitious Irish companies seeking to grow their exports and jobs.

“Through the Action Plan for Jobs we have implemented a range of changes to provide better supports for Irish companies who are determined to continue growing their exports and creating new jobs, including the establishment of a Potential Exporters Division in Enterprise Ireland and a series of tax changes to make it easier to place staff in overseas markets. The ongoing intensive programme of trade missions is a part of this plan, and I am determined that through the intensive series of meetings that we hold this week, we will help these innovative companies grow exports to this crucial market and ultimately create jobs in Ireland”.

Enterprise Ireland CEO Frank Ryan said:

‘This is a timely and exciting opportunity for Irish companies seeking to export to the US. Texas has an economy that is the second largest in the US and the 15th largest in the world. The economic boom being experienced in Texas and the Southern States provides an opportunity for Irish companies to forge partnerships where there is a clear win-win for both sides. Enterprise Ireland will continue to work with our client companies to ensure further business successes will result from the trade mission – helping to sustain and create employment in Ireland’.



Press Office
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Tel. 01 631 2200
Fax: 01 6312828


This is Minister Bruton’s thirteenth major trade/investment mission since taking office in March 2011.

The 12 previous missions undertaken comprise:

  • Five IDA investment missions, two to the USA east coast, two to the west coast and one encompassing the East Coast, South and Mid-West.
  • Four Enterprise Ireland trade missions, one to the south-eastern USA, one to Saudi Arabia and India, one to Canada and one to France accompanied by a total of over 100 Irish companies looking to break into new export markets.
  • A 7-day joint EI/IDA mission to China led by the Taoiseach.
  • A 5-day EI/IDA trip to the west coast of the USA built around St Patrick’s Day 2012.
  • A 2-day mission to Germany around St Patrick’s Day 2011, including a series of meetings arranged by Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland

Minister Bruton has also travelled on a large number of shorter trips to Europe for EU business as well as trade/investment objectives.

Enterprise Ireland is the Government agency responsible for the development and internationalisation of Irish enterprises. Its main aim is to boost exports and export-led jobs. Enterprise Ireland has 28 offices worldwide to help Irish firms develop overseas markets.

Each year, Enterprise Ireland organises a series of targeted international trade missions, market visits, participation in international trade fairs and a large number of international buyer visits to Ireland focussed on assisting Irish firms target and secure international contracts and overseas partners. Here, Enterprise Ireland works directly with Irish firms to help them start up, develop their businesses, build competitiveness and innovate.

Texas - Over the last decade the State of Texas has become the USA’s second-largest economy – displacing New York and challenging California – in a major economic shift. It is now 15th largest economy in the world, roughly the same size as Canada, with a high concentration of telecoms, banking, social media, electronics, cleantech, medical device, network and web companies. The rise of Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and other Southern States in US rankings represents a shift of economic buying power to the South which offers significant opportunities for Irish companies seeking to expand their presence in the US, or grow exports to new markets.

  • The economy of Texas is one of the largest and most rapidly growing economies in the United States. Texas has an economy that is the second largest in the US and the 15th largest in the world based on GDP figures, similar to Canada. As the largest exporter of goods in the United States, Texas currently grosses more than $100 billion a year in trade with other nations.
  • The region has a high concentration of Telecoms, Banking, Social Media, Electronics, Cleantech, Medical Device, Network and Web companies that are customer targets for EI clients.
  • With strong investments in universities, Texas has developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
  • Texas is home to six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and has 58 overall. In addition to global players in the Oil & Gas sector, these include AT & T, Dell, Texas Instruments, Sysco, Whole Foods, Fluor, Kimberly Clark, Southwest Airlines and JC Penney.
  • A significant number of Californian IT companies are increasing their operations in Texas (Austin & Dallas particularly) due to the spiralling living / wages inflation in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, and the increasing unavailability of skilled labour.


Tuesday 5th March

London to Dallas

6.30PM EI / GIN / American Ireland Fund Dinner

Wednesday 6th March

Dallas to Houston

7.40AM Telecoms Breakfast with EI clients & US Customers

9.15AM Client / Buyer event - Wisetek and US client

10.15AM Meeting with Richardson Economic Development Partnership “Texas Telecoms Corridor” Initiative

RichardsonTelecoms Corridor

11.30AM Interview with USA media

12.00PM Ministerial Lunch with EI clients & Guests, Irish Business Community

2.00PM Depart for Houston

7.00PM Briefing dinner – EI/ IDA / Bord Bia ref Thursday Meetings

Thursday 7th March

Houston to Austin

07:30AM Breakfast meeting with EI Clients, PIDX (Petroleum Industry Data Exchange) and Houston Based Oil & Gas Industry contacts – Omni Hotel.

08:30AM Depart Hotel for Sysco Offices

09.00AM Meeting with Sysco - Bord Bia & EI

11.00AM Meeting with multinational company in manufacturing sector

12.15PM Ministerial Lunch with EI Clients & Guests, PIDX and the Irish Business Community in Houston.

2.00PM Interview with USA media

3.00PM Client Buyer event - DIT at University of Houston

4.00PM Depart Houston for Austin

7.00PM SxSW Briefing dinner

Friday 8th March


7.45AM IDA Breakfast briefing.

8.30AM Meeting with multinational company in ICT sector

10.20AM Meeting with Freightwatch

11.25AM Meeting with Governor Rick Perry

12.15PM Ministerial Lunch with EI clients & Guests

2.00PM Meetings with Interactive /Web Irish companies & Market Partners

  1. Voxpro
  2. Diary Monitor
  3. WholeWorldBand
  4. Furious Tribe

5.00PM Launch of Irish Network Austin with All Ireland companies

7.00PM Informal dinner with NASDAQ & Guests

Saturday 9th March

Austin to Dublin

9.30AM Attend SxSW Start-up Village

10.30AM Meeting with “Start-up America Partnership”

11.30AM Review EI stand in Austin Conference Centre

12:00PM Trade Mission wrap up lunch with Ministerial party

12.45PM Depart for Austin Bergstrom Airport