The Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen this week led Enterprise Ireland’s two-day trade mission to Switzerland, Ireland’s 5th largest merchandising trading partner, which commenced on Tuesday.
The trade mission forms part of Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit response, with a focus on accelerating exports to Europe by 50% by 2020. Twenty one Irish companies took part in the trade mission with a focus on diversifying into the Swiss medtech, construction services and agritech sectors.
Exports to Switzerland by Enterprise Ireland client companies increased by 8% last year to reach €330M in 2017. The trade mission programme included a visit to Roche Diagnostics, Rotkreuz where Enterprise Ireland will showcased the innovative capabilities of Ireland’s medtech sector.
The delegation visited the EmpaNEST Research Facility to facilitate new Swiss - Irish business relationships in the construction sector and to help unlock new business opportunities. Yesterday, the participating agritech companies visited the Swiss Future Farm Research Facility to highlight the high quality of new agricultural technologies coming out of Ireland.
Minister Breen also addressed an audience of over 100 Swiss and Irish business leaders in Zurich on Tuesday night and attended the Swiss Irish Business Network 10th Anniversary reception in Zurich on Wednesday before returning to Dublin.
Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Minister Breen said, "I am delighted to lead this Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Switzerland which will introduce 21 Irish companies to potential Swiss business partners. Trade between Ireland and Switzerland is strong, and this is an important initiative to further strengthen business relationships between Enterprise Ireland client companies and Swiss partners."
He added, "Switzerland is Ireland’s 5th largest goods export market and this is indicative of the strength of the Swiss economy and industry. I believe there is great potential for increased collaboration within the key sectors of medtech, construction services and agritech."