First in-person trade mission to UK since Covid gets under way

Enterprise Ireland and Leo Varadkar will also visit France and Germany this week

Enterprise Ireland representatives and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar will visit the UK on Monday for the start of a three-country trade mission to the UK, France and Germany.

The trade mission is focused on building greater trade collaboration with Ireland’s closest markets.

The UK, France and Germany combined represented 39 per cent of total Enterprise Ireland client exports in 2020, with over 2,300 Enterprise Ireland client companies exporting to the three markets.

This is the first in-person trade mission undertaken by Enterprise Ireland following the EU-UK Trade Agreement and the onset of Covid-19.


Over the last 12 months, 95 Enterprise Ireland client companies have set up a new presences on the ground in the UK, French and German markets, representing a broad range of sectors.

Almost 70 Enterprise Ireland supported companies have established a new presence in the UK market in the last 18 months.

Mr Varadkar will open a series of roundtable events to bring together Irish and British businesses and organisations to discuss digital transformation and innovation in housing, insurance, and healthcare.

Enterprise Ireland client companies have also announced a series of new deals, investments and expansions in the UK market.

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Leo Clancy said: "Our long-standing business relationship with the UK is built on the shared values that exists between both countries, as well as our pro-enterprise and pro-competition business environments.

“The deals announced on the trade mission to the UK will further strengthen links between our two business communities, and advance innovation to solve the challenges of the world today.

“The UK and the euro zone are strategically important markets for Irish exporters, with new business opportunities emerging for Irish companies. Combined, the UK and euro zone represented 52 per cent of total client exports in 2020, with exports of €13.4 billion.

“The three-day trade mission reflects our ambition to support the delivery of an export-led recovery, returning export growth to pre-pandemic levels.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter