Irish companies make significant contribution to the UK economy, employing over 125,000 people in the UK and establishing 67 new presences in the UK in the past 18 months

Reaffirming Ireland’s commitment to maintaining the strongest trading relationship with the UK, in a post Brexit era, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister (An Tánaiste) Leo Varadkar will lead Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to the UK on Monday, 6th September. Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency’s trade mission to London aims to boost trade collaboration and partnership to support an accelerated economic recovery for Ireland and the UK, a strategically important neighbouring market for Ireland.

As a strong trading partner with the UK, Irish companies are making an important economic contribution to the market. 125,000 people are employed by Irish companies in the UK. Irish companies have a long history of establishing presences in the UK and are increasingly extending their footprint across the regions, with recent company expansions in industries including modular housing, health tech, financial services and aerospace.

Highlighting the strength of the long-standing business relationship between Ireland and the UK, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister will attend an innovation exchange event with the UK Local Authorities and London Leaders on Housing and roundtable events on Insurance and HealthTech Innovation. A number of company announcements between Irish and UK companies will also be marked. 15 Irish companies are participating on the mission.

Following the visit to London, the trade mission will continue to Paris and Berlin. Since Covid-19, this is the first in-person trade mission undertaken by Enterprise Ireland, as global economies emerge from the pandemic.

Leading the trade mission, An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD said, “The UK has always been and remains Ireland’s largest single trading partner. The importance of the relationship between our two neighbouring markets cannot be understated with a common travel area, integrated supply chains and approximately £1bn traded each week between both markets in goods and services. Our trade mission to the UK will look to strengthen this relationship further and forge new collaboration and partnerships to meet the evolving challenges and opportunities in respect to the pandemic recovery, digitalisation and climate change- all pressing concerns for international governments and the business community.

“It is significant that our first trade mission since the onset of Covid-19 and the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, is to the UK. It signals the importance of the market, our continued close cooperation and maintaining the strongest business ties.”

Leading the trade mission for Enterprise Ireland, Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said, “Ireland and the UK have a long-standing and important bilateral trading relationship. The UK market represents 29% of global exports of Enterprise Ireland client companies with 4 in 5 Irish exporters exporting to the UK. Reflecting Irish companies’ commitment and investment in the market, Irish companies are employing over 125,000 people in the UK and Enterprise Ireland client companies have established 67 new presences in the market in the last 18 months alone. With this investment, Irish companies are delivering economic benefits, creating high value jobs in the UK, and are proven trusted innovation and supply chain partners. Our trade mission programme to the UK is strongly focused on further building on partnerships in the construction, health, transport, mobility, and financial services industries, all thriving industries in the UK.”

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government’s trade and innovation agency. With 40 international offices worldwide, Enterprise Ireland has two offices in the UK, in London and Manchester.