With more than 340m consumers, the Eurozone is one of the most valuable marketplaces on Earth for Irish exporters.
Irish businesses need to get serious about exporting to the Eurozone in the aftermath of Brexit.
That’s the message from Enterprise Ireland which points out that as one of the world’s most dynamic, prosperous, and stable markets, the Eurozone is home to over 340m consumers, offering significant and untapped opportunities for Irish companies.
“Irish companies have enjoyed great success, but there is also great untapped potential in the European market”
This morning at Europe is Our Future the first in a three-part webinar series exploring untapped opportunities for Irish businesses within Europe with the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), the opportunities were laid out for Irish SMEs with scaling in mind.
The Eurozone export imperative
“Enterprise Ireland’s Eurozone strategy aims to inspire and support more companies to enter and scale in Eurozone markets,” said Anne Lanigan, regional director for the Eurozone at Enterprise Ireland.
“While indigenous Irish companies have internationalised over time, there is little doubt that further opportunities to exploit the EU’s Single Market exist, both in terms of export and import opportunities”
“Since it was launched in 2017, Enterprise Ireland client exports have grown to 33pc of overall exports (2019). The EU is the biggest trading bloc in the world and wide open to Irish exporting businesses. As we emerge from Covid-19, the focus is on recovery and accelerating the Irish business landscape, growing new business and new market opportunities.
“Irish companies have enjoyed great success, but there is also great untapped potential in the European market. Its size, accessibility and openness mean there has never been a better time or place for Irish companies looking for new export opportunities. Enterprise Ireland has a wide range of supports for Irish companies to reap the benefits of the European market.”
Dan O’Brien, chief economist at the IIEA, said that the upside of international trade has been one of the few barely contested issues among economists.
“Ireland’s changed fortunes over the decades are but one example of how deepening commercial links with other economies drives prosperity. While indigenous Irish companies have internationalised over time, there is little doubt that further opportunities to exploit the EU’s Single Market exist, both in terms of export and import opportunities.”
Speaking at the event Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said that it is almost 50 years since Ireland joined the European Economic Community and it’s nearly 20 years since we adopted the Euro.
“Our membership has had a significant influence transforming Irish society and our economy for the better. EU markets will continue to play a pivotal role in Ireland’s future, as we rebuild after the pandemic and navigate our new trading relationship with the UK. Our membership is particularly important to our ambition to grow our domestic SME sector and diversify into new export markets. Although many Irish businesses are finding success in exporting to the Eurozone, the huge potential is still largely untapped for the majority of our SMEs.”
So where do the opportunities lie? According to Kerstin Jorna, director general for Internal Markets, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission (DG GROW), the focus is on the green and digital transition of the marketplace.
“That means strengthening the resilience of our Single Market; building strategic capacities where we identify Europe’s dependencies and promoting the green and digital business case. SMEs should be at the centre of this. Ireland can plan a key role,” Jorna emphasised.
“The country is a strong hub for innovation and scientific excellence in Europe and there are huge opportunities for Irish companies to reap the full benefits of the Single Market both from an exporting and importing point of view.”
By John Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published: 28 May 2021