Lensmen Photographer were delighted to work with The French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault at addresses SMEs at Irish Exporters Association National Export Hub seminar.

Dublin, 22nd February 2017: The Irish Exporters Association’s National Export Hub this morning held the first National Export Hub Seminar of 2017 at the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin. The event, run by the National Export Hub, an initiative of the Irish Exporters Association and sponsors ABP IrelandAIBDHL ExpressEuler Hermes and PwC in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade aims to educate and inform Irish SME’s around the practicalities of exporting, assistance available and solutions they ought to consider to help them to grow their exports and in some cases, export for the first time. This morning’s seminar focused particularly on the French market, existing collaboration between Ireland and France and the potential opportunities of trade and investment with France, particularly in light of the UK’s decision to exit the EU. The event was headlined with a keynote address from Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development in France who highlighted French opportunities for Irish SME’s and discussed the Irish-French bi-lateral trade relationship, Brexit and the future of Europe.

Event speakers:

  • Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France
  • Ray Lynch, Head of AIB Dublin
  • Luke Redmond, Advisory Consultant, PwC
  • Orlaith Sweeney, Export Manager, Keogh’s Crisps
  • Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France speaking at the event said: “France and Ireland have enjoyed long-lasting bilateral relations and are committed to developing them further. Through trade and investment, not only are we tightening our bilateral ties but we are also strengthening the EU. My message to the Irish companies is ‘think France’. France is your natural gateway to continental  Europe,  it is a business friendly environment, it is home for more than 25 000 foreign companies accounting for the 7th largest stock of foreign investments in the world. 300 Irish companies have already invested a consolidated €5bn in France to set up branch offices, subsidiaries or manufacturing facilities. We look forward to welcoming many more.”


Speaking at the event today, Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association commented: “The National Export Hub is a service offering dedicated to helping and supporting SME’s, whether that is assisting them on their current export journey or helping those new to exporting with advise and support as they look to scale their business by entering new markets. We are particularly delighted today to have Jean-Marc Ayrault, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development for France address Irish SMEs on the future of the Irish-French bi-lateral trade relationship. There are definite synergies between industries in Ireland and France, our fourth largest EU export market, and we are committed to deepening the close bi-lateral trade relationship that exists, and to assisting our members to achieve further growth in France. Given the implications that Brexit will have on the Irish export community, it is imperative that we start educating our SME’s to diversify their exports and France is a natural ally.”

AIB’s Head of AIB Dublin West, Ray Lynch said: “AIB is delighted to be part of the National Export Hub as it provides SMEs with practical export-related information and guidance for exporting. In the wake of the Brexit vote, supporting Irish SMEs further explore markets beyond the UK is critical. With over €5 billion of Irish goods exported to France in 2016, it is an important market for Irish exporters so it’s hugely valuable to get this insight into the opportunities and challenges that exist there.”

Alison Moore, Marketing, Brand & Communication Manager at DHL Express stated: “As the market leader for express delivery, DHL knows France has always been an important trade partner for Ireland and now more than ever, trade in an open market is pivotal to the success of a market-diversification strategy for Irish companies.”

Dean O’Brien, Country Manager, Euler Hermes Ireland, said: “Overseas trade has always been a cornerstone of the Irish economy. However, exporting doesn’t come without risk, especially for businesses trading on credit terms. Two thirds of claims against the €15 billion of turnover insured by Euler Hermes for Irish companies come from exports. Putting the right checks and balances in place on credit management can significantly reduce risk of non-payment.”

Dean added: “France represents a key opportunity for many Irish exporters with the presence of many multinationals, and  a growing presence of hi-tech start-ups alongside traditional industries.  However, with the uncertainty surrounding this year’s elections and the slow pace of economic recovery a degree of caution is needed especially when trading on credit with new customers.”

David Kennedy, International Markets Manage, Bord Bia commented: “France is the largest Eurozone market for Irish beef, beverages, seafood and sheepmeat with exports for all sectors totalling €728m in 2016. This reflects impressive growth of 17% in the last 5 years. Paris was one of the first Bord Bia overseas offices established and is today staffed by a total team of 7 staff who assist client companies in research, business development, marketing campaigns and many more supports. In the context of Britain potentially leaving the European Union we are seeing increasing interest from client companies in diversifying their market options and this was reflected in the numbers who attended the Bord Bia Origin Green stand at Sial, Paris, last October.”

Pictures will be issued to picture desks. Pictures available from Lensmen Photography, info@lensmen.ie


For more information contact:

Fiona Burke, Communications, Events & Public Affairs Officer, Irish Exporters Association
T: 01 6424171 / 087 6461291
E: fionaburke@irishexporters.ie

About the National Export Hub

The National Export HUB, an initiative of the Irish Exporters Association and National Export Hub partners: ABP IrelandAIBDHL ExpressEuler Hermes and PwC in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to increase the number of Irish businesses exporting for the first time, assist Irish businesses to enter new export markets and to support Irish exporters to grow their exports in existing markets.

In 2017 the National Export Hub will aim to:

  • Develop and significantly enhance the practical help and support available to all Irish based exporters
  • Increase access amongst SME’s to experienced exporters and to expert help
  • Increase the resources available to SME’s in order to assist them to start exporting or to grow their exports effectively
  • Act as a signpost for all available export supports
  • Increase the number of Irish based businesses who are exporting
  • Support exporters on each step of their export journey

This will be achieved through a series of events:

  • The Export Knowledge Programme (6 workshops & Graduation)
  • Export Knowledge Clinics (6 events)
  • 2 Large Seminars (Dublin & Shannon)

Through the Export Knowledge Programme we will assist 20 companies through a series of 6 workshops with companies to graduate in May 2017.

Through the Export Knowledge Clinics, we will assist 25 companies with help and support on a range of current exporting challenges and opportunities. These ‘roundtable clinic’ events will take place throughout the country during 2017

The National Export Hub will host two large seminars in 2017 in Dublin (February) and Shannon (September) The aim of the seminars will be to highlight the supports available through the IEA, hear from industry experts in all relevant areas of exporting and to provide a platform for an Irish company to share their export experience to both current and new exporters.

The IEA/National Export Hub will also work in conjunction with the LEO offices of Kilkenny, Carlow and Wicklow to assist 6 LEO client companies that will, through a dedicated service provider, help with market research, identify key markets and partners and a strategy report from which companies can commence their early export objectives.

Our objective is to assist 100 companies through the National Export Hub with introductions and referrals to our commercial partners, government departments and government agencies which will be achieved through these events and by signposting the various supports available. These supports are available through the Irish Exporters Association’s own expertise, networks and range of service providers.

For more information on the National Export Hub click here

About the Irish Exporters Association:

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) assists its members to grow their exports to world markets. We drive and support the growth and development of all exporting businesses based in Ireland by:

Representation – leading the export agenda as the voice of Irish exporters

Member development – enhancing the export knowledge and skillset of members through a range of training services and export development programmes

Networking & Connectivity – connecting our members with government and business stakeholders domestically and in market

Export Services – enabling our members with practical assistance and critical support services

The IEA represent the whole spectrum of companies within the export industry including SME’s who are beginning to think about exporting for the first time right through to global multinational companies who are already extensively exporting from Ireland. It is the connecting force for Irish exporters, providing practical knowledge and support across the Island of Ireland and in foreign markets.

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