This month, the EI Australia/New Zealand team was delighted to attend Enterprise Ireland’s annual conference, International Markets Week (IMW), which took place in the RDS in Dublin. Following two years of virtual IMW events, it was brilliant to reconnect with the companies that we support here as well as colleagues from over 40 international offices and meet a number of companies for the first time who are looking at entering or scaling their business in the ANZ market.
Despite the on-going global uncertainty and the challenges posed by inflation, Enterprise Ireland client companies remain extremely optimistic about the future success of Irish Enterprise. 84% of client companies expect to maintain or grow sales in this coming year and a further 91% expect to see only growth in 2023. This was felt throughout the week’s meetings with 80% of the surveyed companies further outlining that they expected to expand into a new market in the coming year.
A total of 1821 meetings took place at IMW between 650 Irish enterprises and Market Advisors from Enterprise Ireland’s international offices to better understand how we can support our clients to realise their export plans.
In addition, EI clients had the opportunity to meet with specialists in a range of key areas such as sustainability, talent and skills which is important as nearly three quarters (74%) of Enterprise Ireland clients feel that having green credentials with a sustainability policy in place is considered an important factor when competing to win new business overseas and a further one in four (26%) say skills and talent shortages as being the biggest challenge to their business.
The week was marked by several keynote speakers and events including a fascinating panel discussion with Sonia Deasy of Pestle & Mortar, Peter Coppinger of Teamwork, Vivian Farrell of Modular Automation and Anne Dooley of Winthrop who shared advice and insights on how to grow and win sales in new markets.
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English T.D., said: “I am very encouraged, despite the difficulties presented by Brexit, Covid-19 and most recently market instability and decreased consumer confidence, that Irish businesses are continuing to show strength, resilience and adaptability in looking for new opportunities to sell internationally. It has always been a priority of this Government to back Irish businesses and assist them through uncertain periods.
I am pleased that the number of Enterprise Ireland companies entering new markets has increased and that companies remain positive and export-focused in a fast-changing world for the year ahead. International Markets Week provides an excellent opportunity for Irish companies to advance their ambition to expand, innovate and diversify their operations.”
Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland added: “We are delighted that International Markets Week has returned in person and is back, bigger and more buoyant than ever. It’s positive to see from our research that Irish exporters are optimistic for the next 12 months and reported export increases last year against the backdrop of a challenging global economic environment for businesses. So far in 2022, we have seen our clients win a total of 882 new contracts and establish 325 overseas presences during challenging economic conditions, with support from Enterprise Ireland. In line with Enterprise Ireland’s strategy ‘Leading in a Changing World’, resilient and internationally-focused Irish enterprises will be the core driver of the Irish economy and we at Enterprise Ireland are proud to support them in achieving their ambitions through these changing times.