African and IEA links required  to boost trade

“Collaboration between state agencies and the private sector will be key to exploiting the trading opportunities with Africa” according to the Irish Exporters Association who today held an event on promoting food and drink exports to Africa.

Bryan Delaney, chairman of the IEA Africa Business Forum stated at the meeting;

“There are currently 160 Irish companies exporting to 23 African countries and 36 Irish companies have a presence on the ground there.  We need to tap into this network and experience to improve our knowledge of the vast markets in Africa and to identify where opportunities lie”.

“Companies such as the Irish Dairy Board who have been trading in Africa for nearly 35 years have considerable experience of the African market and demonstrate the potential that exists for Irish exporters”.

“To identify opportunities there is no substitute for getting out there and getting to know the people.  Last year saw the first Irish trade mission to Nigeria in 20 years.  One in every 43 people in the world is Nigerian and the importance of regular missions going forward must not be underestimated if we are to build sustainable momentum in these markets.”

“The trade mission will also visit South Africa which is often used as a platform  to access other African markets.  Enterprise Ireland recently opened an office and incubation centre in Johannesburg. This office along with our 11 embassies throughout Africa and the Irish Business Networks  that are being developed provide a strong structure for trade promotion.   The Africa-Ireland Economic Forum which will be held in October will also represent a chance for potential exporters to meet successful African business people. On the ground knowledge and connections are vital in seeking to enter any new market.”

“Ireland has a very enviable reputation across Africa arising from its educational and aid support delivered for many decades across Africa but our trade links are still underdeveloped. Exports to Africa have the realistic potential to reach €24 billion by the end of the decade and we are confident that high export growth can be achieved if  the various agencies and the private sector can work together to support companies by identifying opportunities and facilitating trade”.

The Irish Exporters Association is currently developing a strategy for Ireland-Africa trade promotion and is inviting submissions and comment from interested companies.

For Further information contact ;  

Manager IEA  Africa Business Forum


Irish Exporters Association

28 Merrion Square

Dublin 2

Tel: 353-1-6424170


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