Irish companies win €12m in contracts in South Africa

34 companies targeted export opportunities in technology, aviation and energy sectors

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan: led the trade mission which resulted in more than 200 meetings being held between Irish firms and potential business partners. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Irish companies participating in a Government-backed trade mission to South Africa last week secured contracts worth more than €12 million during a four-day visit that took in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Led by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan, who was accompanied by Enterprise Ireland chief executive Julie Sinnamon, the 34 companies were targeting export opportunities in the technology, telecommunications, aviation, engineering, energy, food and financial services sectors.

The Mission’s broad sectoral focus was mirrored by the wide-ranging regional diversification in the companies that participated, with firms from counties Kilkenny, Laois, Galway, Wicklow, Mayo, Cork, Kildare, Louth, Cavan and Dublin represented.

More than 200 meetings were held between the Irish companies and potential business partners and customers, along with five major business networking events.


Aviation training

Deals announced during the mission included the signing of partnership agreements between College

Ireland Aviation

Services and Johannesburg-based

Mega Aviation

Training Academy for the delivery of aviation training and academic programmes in Southern Africa.

Portlaoise-based AuBren DAQS and Voltas Technologies signed a contract to introduce the former’s brand of precision air handling systems to Africa.

This deal is understood to be worth between €3 million and €5 million over the next four years and should see AuBren increase its international staffing by half.

Mr Flanagan also visited a school in Cape Town participating in the Amawele schools-twinning project, which Irish Aid supports.

The mission was the fourth by the State in as many years. Mr Flanagan said it showed the Government’s commitment to helping Irish businesses seek out new markets in the world’s fastest-growing region outside of southeast Asia.

Bill Corcoran

Bill Corcoran

Bill Corcoran is a contributor to The Irish Times based in South Africa