Ireland on course to break €100 billion trade target with Asia

Ireland is well on course to smash its target of achieving €100 billion worth of trade with Asia by the middle of this decade, a leading Irish government official has predicted.

The Government had previously stated its Asian trade goal in the January 2020 policy document, ‘Delivering in the Asia Pacific Region to 2025’.

And in a keynote speech at the launch of the Asia Matters Business Awards, Dr Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, said the value of Ireland’s two-way trade with the world’s wealthiest region had soared to €76 billion over the last 10 years.

Dr Quinn said more than 600 Enterprise Ireland companies are now exporting of over €2 billion worth of goods to Asia, which represented an increase of 80% in the last five years.

She later said she expected that the value of Ireland’s two-trade with Asia to exceed €100 billion by 2025.

“We are seeing huge growth (in trade with Asia), it has more than doubled in the last decade,” she said.

She also told an audience at Buswells Hotel, which included ambassadors from China, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, New Zealand and Malta, that in 2021 China was Ireland’s fifth largest trading partner – with total trade between the two countries reaching €35billion.

“Trade with Japan in 2021 was worth €18 billion, and the value of Ireland’s trade with India in 2021 was €9 billion,” Dr Quinn added.

“Growing our trade and investment ties will further connect Ireland to the world’s most dynamic region, contribute to efforts to diversify our markets, and help build resilience in our economy.”

Dr Quinn said her department was delighted to be a member of Ireland’s only Asian business thinktank, Asia Matters.

“We have been a key partner for the Asia Matters Business Awards since their inception, along with Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland,” she explained, adding that the awards were a highlight of the business calendar.

“The winners demonstrate what best-in-class Irish enterprises can achieve in rapidly growing markets across Asia,” she said.

Now in its fourth year, the 2023 awards will include categories in the various sectors including food and agritech, financial services and fintech, education, tourism and the creative industries – with the winners being honoured at a black tie event in Dublin on November 15, hosted by television presenter Gráinne Seoige.

Asia Matters’ Executive Director, Martin Murray, said Asia is the world’s wealthiest region, and that the IMF predicts its GDP to increase by 4.6% this year, after growing 3.8% in 2022.

“If they are not already doing so, companies based in Ireland wanting to expand their export base should really be looking at the opportunities that exist in Asia,” he said.

Entries for this year’s awards open on June 2. For more information, visit asiamatters.eu.

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