Irish companies have closed business deals in the Gulf region that are expected to realise a return of €65 million and lead to the hiring of 95 people, Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton has said.
Speaking in Dubai last night as an Enterprise Ireland trade mission ended, Mr Bruton said the Government had "great ambition for the region" and it hoped trade between Ireland and Gulf countries could rise from about €400 million to €1 billion annually. "It is a market that has opportunity and €1 billion in trade could turn into 4,000 additional jobs so it's an opportunity well worth pursuing," he said.
A total of 87 companies travelled to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai for the trade mission, which began on Sunday. Firms made use of the presence of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Bruton to engage clients and meet businesses from the region.
Mayo-based clothing manufacturer Portwest yesterday said it expected to take on 50 staff in Westport as it expanded into the Middle East and Africa.
Mr Kenny yesterday opened a new Glenbeigh Records Management office in Dubai and the company said it intended to add 25 staff to its operation in west Dublin.
Crowley Carbon, which provides energy efficiency solutions, said it had signed a deal worth about €20 million with facilities management firm Emrill in Dubai and plans to take on 20 new staff in Dublin.
Healthcare systems firm Oneview said it had broken into the Middle East market after reaching an agreement with Dubai's two Mediclinic hospitals to provide software.
Elsewhere, identification software provider Daon said it was to open an office in Abu Dhabi, while Broadmeadow Healthcare Group is to start operating from the World Central complex in Dubai.