Membership of Ireland-Asia business group increases by 70 per cent

Irish interest in doing business in region is growing, according to Asia Matters director

Irish interest in doing business in Asia is growing, according to a leading organisation focused on developing links between the region and this country.

Membership of local think tank Asia Matters, which is chaired by former government minister Alan Dukes, has increased by 70 per cent over the past 18 months.

Executive director Martin Murray said that its focus on building business links and aiding organisations in developing an understanding of Asian markets has "struck a chord" with many companies.

According to Mr Murray, more than 11,500 people from 47 countries have taken part in Asia Matters events in Ireland, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, while they have drawn 400 speakers.


About 125,000 people have read its publications, while policymakers and the media have frequently consulted the organisation on various issues relating to Asia.

Launched by Mr Dukes, academic Thomas P Hardiman and Mr Murray five years ago, Asia Matters focuses on developing business ties between Ireland and Asia to aid economic growth.

Mr Murray said roundtable talks, conferences and networking events have increased membership.

He noted that businesses see the value in using its expertise on and contacts with "the key economies of China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan".

The group will host its first Global Asia Matters Summit in Dublin next November.

Some of the speakers lined up include Mauro Petriccione, deputy director general of the European Commission's trade directorate, Jim Barry, managing director of Blackrock Infrastructure Investment Group, and John Brandon, senior director, Asia Foundation USA.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas