Reaffirming Ireland’s commitment to maintaining the strongest trading relationship with the UK, in a post Brexit era, the Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys will lead Ireland’s trade and innovation agency Enterprise Ireland’s three-day trade mission to Manchester, as part of the “Northern Powerhouse” and Birmingham and the West Midlands as part of the “Midlands Engine”. Commencing today, the trade mission will focus on key growth regions in the UK and growth opportunities across construction, manufacturing, digital technologies and smart solutions, with fifty-five Enterprise Ireland clients participating on the trade mission, from major players; PM Group and Mergon, to innovative new high growth companies; Over-C and CitySwifter.
Enterprise Ireland today also announced the opening of a new Enterprise Ireland office in Manchester, its second office in the UK. With Ireland being the first country to establish a trade office within the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, Enterprise Ireland will be focused on strengthening ties and boosting Irish companies’ contribution to the region. Irish companies contribute significantly to the economic success of the UK, with Enterprise Ireland clients employing over 100,000 people in the UK. The new office will provide an opportunity for local businesses in the region to partner and collaborate with some of the most innovative SMEs in the EU and access an Irish workforce that the OECD ranked as the most productive in the world.
Irish Business Minister Heather Humphreys who is leading the trade mission said: “The UK is our long-standing trading partner and the Irish Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is committed to consolidating our exports to the UK market and continuing to contribute to the success of the UK. Currently over 100,000 people are employed by Enterprise Ireland backed companies in the UK. With such strong historic, business, cultural and heritage ties between Ireland and Manchester, we are delighted to witness its renaissance and we are committed to the strengthening ties and building new partnerships into the future. The opening of Enterprise Ireland’s office in Manchester will be instrumental to this.”
“Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, Ireland wants the closest possible trading relationship with the UK after Brexit because this works for businesses on both sides of the Irish sea. It remains our strong hope that the UK parliament will ratify the Withdrawal Agreement to make for as seamless as possible a transition to a new trading relationship between the EU and the UK.” added Minister Humphreys.
Welcoming the Irish trade mission to Manchester and the opening of Enterprise Ireland’s new office in Manchester, Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “The opening of a new base for Enterprise Ireland in Manchester is a significant boost to our close trading and cultural relationships with Ireland, which have endured for many years and will continue to flourish in the future. As a proudly outward-looking city, we will continue to welcome close partnerships with friends from around the globe and so this mutually beneficial development, with the potential to foster new economic opportunities and technological innovation both here and in Ireland, is hugely welcome.”
Deirdre McPartlin, UK Manager, Enterprise Ireland said: “We are pleased to announce the opening of our new office in Manchester and I believe that Ireland is the first country to establish a trade agency presence in the region. The establishment of a new Enterprise Ireland office, outside of London, very much reflects that Manchester and the Northern Powerhouse region is an exciting and dynamic growth region in the UK. We have strong business ties in the North-West and many Irish companies, proven to be dynamic partners, have committed to the region by establishing their own local presence. The trade mission this week will demonstrate Irish capabilities across construction, manufacturing, industry 4.0 and digital technology, with a focus on deepening mutually beneficial collaboration with our UK partners.”
The opening of the office was celebrated at a business networking dinner in Manchester with guests including Sir Richard Leese, Irish Minister for Business Heather Humphreys and a number of Irish companies that have opened an office in Manchester over the last 2-3 years.