Head of Enterprise Ireland’s operation in Moscow to leave his post

Gerard McCarthy has been responsible for EI’s activities in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States since 201

Enterprise Ireland says its  Moscow office “plays a central role in supporting Irish companies to enter and scale in the Russian market”

Enterprise Ireland says its Moscow office “plays a central role in supporting Irish companies to enter and scale in the Russian market”

 

Gerard McCarthy, head of Enterprise Ireland’s operation in Moscow, is to leave his post after more than six years in the role just as trade and ties with Russia shows signs of recovering.

Mr McCarthy, who has been responsible for EI’s activities in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) since 2011, will leave at the end of this month, according to sources close to the government agency.

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Ireland said it does not comment on the “the tenure of individual employees,” but insisted the agency is retaining Moscow as part of its network of 33 international offices.

“Russia continues to be part of Enterprise Ireland’s market diversification strategy and as such there are no plans to close the Russian office,” she said in an e-mailed statement.

“Our Moscow office plays a central role in supporting Irish companies to enter and scale in the Russian market and supports Russian companies to access a pipeline of world class innovative products and services from Ireland.”

Mr McCarthy’s departure comes amid a revival of Ireland’s trade and ties with Russia, which have been damaged by a four-year sanctions war between the Kremlin and the European Union. Irish agricultural exports to Russia almost halved between 2014 and 2016 (from €722 million to €364 million) as pork, dairy and poultry were among foodstuffs banned by Russia in the tit-for-tat dispute.

Expanding

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimates the value of Irish exports to Russia increased by about 40 per cent to €500 million last year, as companies found ways to operate within the sanctions by focusing on exporting agri-technology and by setting up and acquiring local production.

Irish corporates, such as packing giant Smurfit Kappa and building materials group Kingspan, have been expanding in Russia over the last year through via acquisitions.

Edmond Scanlon, chief executive of Kerry Group, and a senior delegation from his company will travel to Moscow on Tuesday for an event to mark the opening of its new regional centre of excellence and innovation on the outskirts of Moscow. The company has already started production at a new facility, which will employ about 100 people and is looking at taste trends and researching new food and beverage products.

Government officials hope the launch of a direct flight next month by Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, will cement the revival in trade and boost tourism.

The Airbus A320 service from Dublin to Moscow’s main Sheremetyevo airport is set to commence October 28th as part of Aeroflot’s new winter schedule.

The aircraft will be supplied by GTLK Europe, the Kremlin’s Dublin-based leasing arm, which has a portfolio of $1.5 billion in assets based out of Ireland. Senior Aeroflot management are expected to fly to Dublin for a reception to launch the service.