On March 6th, 2023, Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation, Dara Calleary T.D., led Enterprise Ireland’s first-ever trade mission to the UN City in Copenhagen to boost global procurement opportunities for Irish companies. This initiative sought to help Irish businesses in becoming more aware of and competing for significant opportunities within the United Nations (UN) procurement landscape. The UN Procurement Seminar in Copenhagen, hosted in collaboration with trade agencies from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, was a key component of the mission, offering 18 specialised Enterprise Ireland client companies from across various sectors the opportunity to pitch their solutions to key UN procurement personnel from nine of UN agencies.
This mission held great significance for Ireland’s economy, as Irish exports to the UN have grown from $15M in 2014 to $150M in 2021, indicating a tremendous potential for Irish companies to capitalize on the opportunities within the UN procurement space. Moreover, there are 40 Enterprise Ireland supported companies highly active in this area, with the number of Irish-based companies registered to do business with the UN increasing from 184 to 534 between 2014 and 2021. This underscores the importance of the trade mission in supporting the growth of Irish businesses by providing access to global procurement opportunities. The UN procurement landscape represents a wide range of sectors within the UN, including life sciences, medical equipment, medical supplies, and IT & communication, which are already some of the key categories for Irish exporters. Through this mission, Enterprise Ireland aimed to support its client companies in becoming more aware of and competing for significant opportunities within the UN, thereby driving growth for Irish businesses.
The trade mission also highlighted the opportunity for accelerated growth for Enterprise Ireland clients in the Nordics region, which has emerged as an increasingly important market for Irish exporters. In 2021, exports of Enterprise Ireland supported companies to the Nordic region reached €1.24bn, representing a 31% growth on the previous year. Denmark, the leading digital economy in the EU, offers strong business opportunities in life sciences, big data, cleantech, cybersecurity, and fintech, making it a critical market for Irish businesses looking to expand their global reach.
As part of the trade mission, the Minister and delegation met with the visiting UN delegation and leaders in the business community in Copenhagen. The program began with a briefing for Enterprise Ireland client companies at a reception at the Embassy of Ireland, where the Minister had the opportunity to meet the visiting delegation and recognize the remarkable success of Irish companies operating in Denmark and the Nordic region. On the second day of the mission, the Minister met with Digital Hub Denmark, a key player in Denmark’s digital ecosystem, to gain valuable insights into the organization’s journey and its efforts to establish Denmark as a leading digital country in Europe. A highlight of the mission was the visit to the Copenhagen offices of AMCS Group, an Irish company that specializes in advanced software for transportation, logistics, and recycling. The Minister praised the success of AMCS, particularly the integration of the Danish company Transvision into its group, with Copenhagen now serving as a centre of excellence for the company.
The trade mission was a success in promoting Ireland’s business interests in Denmark and strengthening the relationship between the two countries. The mission’s success can be attributed to the Minister’s efforts to expand Irish businesses’ global reach and foster partnerships with key stakeholders, including UN procurement personnel and leaders in Denmark’s business community. By supporting Irish businesses in accessing global procurement opportunities and expanding into emerging markets, the mission has laid a strong foundation for the continued growth of Ireland’s economy.