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Enterprise Ireland survey reveals 9 in 10 Irish exporters to the UK see future opportunities in the UK market

Tánaiste announces €48 million invested in start-ups by Enterprise Ireland in 2020

Enterprise Ireland launches Evolve Strategic Planning Grant and Evolve UK programme to support Irish exporters deliver strategic response to the recent changes and challenges in the UK trading environment

The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has resulted in changes to how businesses and sectors operate in the UK.  However, the market remains Ireland’s largest single trading partner and will continue to offer opportunities for Irish exporters. A survey conducted by Enterprise Ireland of 427 Irish exporters, exporting to the UK has revealed that 89% see future opportunities in the UK market. Also, 4 in 5 companies (83%) say that their strategy is to grow exports to the UK, while 15% say they will sustain exports to the UK. The survey was conducted ahead of Enterprise Ireland’s official launch of its Evolve UK initiative at its online event ‘The New UK: Succeeding in a Changing Market’, taking place today.

In response to the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Enterprise Ireland has launched its Evolve UK programme, delivering critical insights to Irish companies on the evolving UK market and sector changes and opportunities through reports, insight bulletins and virtual events.

Another initiative launching today is the Evolve Strategic Planning Grant, designed to support clients to respond to the challenges and opportunities, which have arisen as a result of changes to the trading environment in the UK since January 1st, 2021. This support, a €5,000 grant, from Enterprise Ireland will support companies to adapt their approach to the market to secure and grow their sales. It will also support companies to explore approaches to optimise supply chains, research opportunities as the market evolves and changes, and prepare for changes in certification and regulatory requirements.

Both initiatives will be launched this morning by Minister for State for Trade Promotion, Robert Troy T.D. at Enterprise Ireland’s online event ‘The New UK: Succeeding in a Changing Market’, attended by Ambassador O’Neill Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom, Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram , with participation from client companies including Conor McCarthy, Chairman and Chief Executive, Dublin Aerospace and Lulu O’Sullivan, CEO, Gifts Direct & The Irish Store.

Robert Troy T.D, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation commented: “The UK has always been and remains Ireland’s largest single trading partner. In 2019 Enterprise Ireland client exports to the UK were the highest ever and represented 31% of total exports.  The importance of the relationship between our two markets cannot be understated and over the coming months and years, the Irish and UK Governments will look to strengthen this relationship further. With our deeply integrated networks, the UK is often the first export market for most Irish companies to grow and scale internationally. With the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement we can expect changes in how businesses and sectors operate in the UK.  Both the Evolve UK initiative and the Evolve Strategic Planning Grant will be instrumental in supporting Irish exporters to keep informed and prepared for market and sector changes and opportunities.”

Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland Director, UK and Northern Europe, said: “The UK market is evolving, and we can expect further changes and developments over the months and years ahead. In this now post-Brexit world, Enterprise Ireland companies remain optimistic and ambitious about the opportunities in the UK market and strategies to grow their export sales to the UK. Through our two offices in London and Manchester, team of Market Advisors based in the UK, we are focused on delivering deep market and sector knowledge to support Irish exporters to adapt and grow in the UK, navigate changes and seize evolving opportunities.”

In 2019, Enterprise Ireland client exports grew by 2% to €7.9bn, representing 31% of Enterprise Ireland client exports. The overall dependence on the UK market reduced to 31% of total exports, down from 42% ten years ago, a key focus of the Enterprise Ireland market diversification strategy.

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