Tanaiste says post-Brexit world offers opportunities for Ireland in Asia

Frances Fitzgerald says Brexit makes Ireland more attractive in Asia-Pacific

Ireland’s position in the EU and the Eurozone in a post-Brexit world offers significant opportunities for Irish companies in Asia, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald said on the first day of a trade mission to the region.

Ireland’s position in the EU and the Eurozone in a post-Brexit world offers significant opportunities for Irish companies in Asia, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald said on the first day of a trade mission to the region.

 

Ireland’s position in the EU and the Eurozone in a post-Brexit world offers significant opportunities for Irish companies in Asia, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald said on the first day of a trade mission to the region.

“Brexit is challenging and we have no choice but to diversify,” she said in an interview with The Irish Times in Singapore on day one of the five-day mission, which will take her to Japan later in the week.

Two of the world’s three largest economies are in the Asia-Pacific and the region is expected to make up 60 per cent of the world’s middle class in the next decade.

“This is very much about saying Ireland is a post-Brexit solution for the Asia-Pac region, as a committed member of the EU and the Eurozone, English-speaking, all of the natural advantages that we have in a post-Brexit situation, and giving that message to companies in the region,” said the Minister, whose portfolio also includes jobs, enterprise and innovation.

The mission comprises 60 companies, and the Tanaiste is joined by Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and IDA Ireland’s head of growth markets Eileen Sharpe.

There are 600 Enterprise Ireland clients currently exporting to the region. Last year exports rose 16 per cent to the Asia-Pacific region to € 1.82 billion.

“We are trying to attract Singaporean companies to invest in Ireland but also supporting the Irish businesses which have already established here,” she said.

During the mission, the Tanaiste will have bilateral meetings with Singapore’s deputy prime minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and minister for trade and industry, Lim Hng Kiang.

“There is a pathway to this region, given the expertise we’ve developed in Ireland in a very wide range of areas. The match is there and in the way that Singapore wants to be a hub for Asia-Pacific, I think Ireland can be for the Eurozone,” said the Tanaiste.

The Tanaiste attended a product launch by Novaerus, and then hosted a number of partner signings before she addressed a business lunch hosted by the Irish ambassador Geoffrey Keating, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA. She then addressed an aviation and aerospace event near the airport.

Chief areas of expansion include aviation and aerospace, digital technologies, medical technology, education, healthcare, construction and engineering, electronics, financial services and agritech.

“It is about knowing your market, and that’s where IDA and Enterprise Ireland come into it. It’s a very complex process for companies, they have to research their markets and get the right fit but the rewards are significant,” she said.