With UK business prospects likely to be severely limited, Asia presents lucrative opportunities for Irish firms.
The combination of the Sterling crisis along with a forecast of almost 6% growth in Asian markets means Irish firms should now look towards Asia, the chief executive of Asia Matters has insisted.
Martin Murray was speaking at the launch of Asia Matters Asia Business Week Ireland – a series of cross-country events to attract inward investment from, and encourage exports to, the world’s wealthiest region.
“In the space of 10 years, between 2007 and 2017, Ireland’s two-way trade with the region more than doubled, from €23bn to €56bn. There is no reason why it cannot double again before 2025”
“The British government, with its mini-budget, was playing a high stakes games,” Asia Matters CEO, Murray, said.
“And the gamble failed to pay off, after the pound plummeted.”
Opportunities in Asia
At the launch of Asia Matters’ Asia Business Week Ireland at the Department of Enterprise were: Dr Chris O’Malley, Vice President, Research, Innovation &; Engagement, Atlantic Technological University, Sligo Campus; Ronnie Downes, Assistant Secretary, Trade Division, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Martin Murray, Executive Director, Asia Matters; Dara Calleary, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Yui Shimazu, Director, Asia Matters; Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, Director Regional Development, Community & Language Planning, Údarás na Gaeltachta; Pat Ivory, Director of EU and International Affairs, IBEC; Tomás Ó Síocháin ,CEO, Western Development Commission. Credit: Maxwells
Opportunities for Irish firms in the UK will be severely limited in the foreseeable future, he believes, as a result of the country’s currency crisis as the British government attempts to steady the ship.
“At Asia Matters, we strongly believe that when it comes to growing trade, Ireland is hindered by the past,” he said.
“We’re stuck in English-language mode when we should really be focusing on the emerging markets of the future instead.
“Recent forecasts from the Asian Development Bank indicate that the combined GDP of Asian countries excluding China will grow by 5.8% over the next six months.
“Half the world’s wealth is created in the Asia marketplace, and that’s where our businesses should be focusing their energies on.”
Asia Matters Asia Business Week Ireland
Asia Matters Asia Business Week Ireland (November 28 – December 2) was launched at the Department of Enterprise with the newly appointed Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Dara Calleary, and begins in Galway with a business briefing focusing on the ‘creative and cultural economy’.
Key events include the 8th EU Asia Top Economist Roundtable hosted by IBEC on November 30, and CEO roundtables focusing on food and financial services.
The finale is the Asia Matters’ Asia Business Awards on 2 December. Previous winners include the Kerry Group, Toyota Financial Services, Combilift, Carbery Group, SMBC Aviation Capital and WuXi Biologics.
“Since its foundation 10 years ago, Asia Matters has been dedicated to highlighting the importance of Asia as a trading partner and the need to build deep business relations with Asian stakeholders,” Murray said.
“We also know that sustainable business growth across the region greatly depends on our ability to understand and engage with the right partners in a meaningful way.
“In Ireland, we must understand that business across Asia is relationship-based rather than transaction based, as is the practice in the West.
“We believe Asia Matters Asia Business Week Ireland will not only encourage Asian firms to invest in Ireland, but will also open up the possibilities that exist in the massive Asian market to Irish companies.”
Noting that the Government wants trade with Asia to reach €100bn by 2025, Murray said that “when doing business with Asia, you get back what you put in. It takes time and effort.”
“In the space of 10 years, between 2007 and 2017, Ireland’s two-way trade with the region more than doubled, from €23bn to €56bn,” he said.
“There is no reason why it cannot double again before 2025.”
Main image at top: Yui Shimazu, director of Irish business group Asia Matters, at the launch of Asia Matters’ Asia Business Week Ireland at the Department of Enterprise