Government Urged to Recruit Saint Patrick to Lead New Export Drive
The Irish Exporters Association call for a more focused and co -ordinated use of the enormous promotional opportunity available to us on St Patrick’s Day in 2012. The IEA urge the government to take steps right now to ensure that Irish exporters can make the most – increase their sales – of the good will that is created every Saint Patrick’s day world-wide. The key to full use by export industry of this invaluable promotional opportunity is to; a) announce early what Minister will lead the St Patricks day parade in each nominated country; b) put this up on the Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade Website and c) give ambassador contact details so that exporters can invite key clients in the markets to the associated Irish Embassy receptions, at which the Irish export message can be driven home.
According to Mr Mark Fitzgerald, President of the Irish Exporters, the rest of the world look at Ireland’s National Day celebrations with envy. What other country’s national day elicits celebrations worldwide – celebrations that are expressed by large parades and receptions in practically every country and major city in the world?
There are some people in Ireland who believe that the government should not be wasting money by sending ministers to represent the country on March 17 in the far-flung capitals of the world. The Irish Exporters Association, on the other hand, believes that the presence of ministers offers a major opportunity to facilitate Irish businesses. “We are asking the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to begin preparing now so that Irish exporters can reap the full benefit of these ministerial visits,” said Mr Fitzgerald. He added that by posting early notice of each event and the accompanying receptions to be held at Irish Embassies, Irish firms will be able to plan their schedules to meet and cement relationships with existing and potential buyers. “With only 40 days before Saint Patrick’s Day we strongly suggest that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade should firm up the schedule of ministerial visits as soon as possible,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
With advanced planning, Mr Fitzgerald said that Irish exporters would then be able to tap into the good will towards Ireland and its economic recovery in many international markets. “We believe that the chief executives of exporting companies should be given the opportunity to invite one of their best clients in each market to the reception hosted by the visiting minister.” He added: “We believe that the good will created when a chief executive and his customer meet the minister for a ‘social moment’ will go a long way in further developing the business relationship and, inevitably, increase exports.”
In conclusion, Mr Fitzgerald urged Mr Eamon Gilmore, T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, to get the ball rolling so that Irish exporters can make their plans to take full advantage of our longest serving ace export salesman – Saint Patrick.