Over 100 business leaders and buyers from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are coming together today with over 200 Irish companies at the ‘Routes to Growth’ Asia Pacific Conference in the Aviva Stadium.
The first-of-its-kind event is jointly hosted by Enterprise Ireland and Cathay Pacific, and was opened by Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen, T.D.
It represents a significant marker of the increasing focus in Ireland on exporting to the APAC region, as a key element of Enterprise Ireland’s market diversification strategy in response to Brexit.
The Routes to Growth conference offers key insights and perspectives from existing Irish exporters, and leading experts and senior decision makers from Asia Pacific on doing business in the region. There will also be targeted sessions on Aviation, Financial Services, Digital Technology, Healthcare, Construction and Agri-tech.
The event will be jointly hosted by the CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon and General Manager Europe of Cathay Pacific, James Ginns, and will be moderated by Former CNN Correspondent, Gina London. Speakers will include Dicky Yip, Non-Exec Director PingAn Insurance and ex-CEO HSBC China, Jim Thompson, Chairman & CEO of Crown Worldwide Group Hong Kong. Among the Enterprise Ireland client companies exporting to the region who will be in attendance are Fenergo, Decawave and Cubic Telecom.
According to research, exports to the Asia-Pacific region from Ireland more than doubled in the last five years since breaking the €1bn mark in 2012, delivering double-digit growth for Enterprise Ireland clients in 2016 with an impressive 16% year on year gain. As the second fastest growing region for Enterprise Ireland backed companies, Enterprise Ireland is targeting to increase exports to the region by 50% by 2020.
The APAC region is home to half the world’s population and is forecast to host 64% of the global middle class by 2030. In addition, Ireland’s connectivity to the APAC region will see a significant boost in June 2018 with the commencement of the first direct flight between Dublin and Hong Kong launching on June 2nd by Cathay Pacific, the first ever direct flight from Ireland to the Asian mainland.
In tandem with the conference, Enterprise Ireland is also today launching a new series of ‘Going Global’ guides for Irish companies doing business in nine APAC countries including China, Singapore, Vietnam and India.
Speaking ahead of the event, Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen said, "Ireland’s reach into new markets in the AsiaPAC region has grown substantially in recent years. We are strongly represented across the region, with state agencies, embassies and consulates now present in sixteen cities. Today’s Routes to Growth Conference could not be timelier, given the imperative, as a result of Brexit and other global developments, to expand our trading footprint and explore new international markets. The Irish Government and Enterprise Ireland offer a range of supports for companies looking to break into the AsiaPAC region. Today’s conference is an excellent opportunity to hear great Irish business success stories in the region and the learnings they can offer prospective exporters."
CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon added, "With Irish exports to the Asia-Pacific region more than doubling in recent years, and 600 Enterprise Ireland clients exporting to the region, Enterprise Ireland’s ambition is to increase exports by further 50% by 2020. Last year alone we had 70 new first-time exporters to the region. Expanding the reach of Irish exports in new and emerging markets is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland and is a central element of our market diversification strategy in response to Brexit."