The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Mr Joe Costello T.D., led an Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission to Russia (June 18-22).
The Trade Mission included over 20 Enterprise Ireland client company participants, and was aimed at building on impressive 2011 Russia trade figures which saw 37% growth in goods export to the closest of the BRICS countries. This was reinforced by over 50% growth in exports by Enterprise Ireland client companies in 2011.
The Mission is also targeting the continued development of Ireland’s Joint Economic Commission (JEC) bilateral relationship with Russia, considered to be a vital key to developing two way trade and cooperation between the countries.
The Joint Economic Commission, governed by a ‘Declaration for Partnership in Modernisation’ with Russia, was advanced through key strategic meetings with Rosagroleasing, The Pharmaceutical Association of Russia, Moscow City Government, and JEC Chair Valeriy Okulov and other members of the JEC working groups and Ministry of Economic Development.
The multi-sector trade mission, which was organised with the support of the Embassy of Ireland in Russia, included best-in-class Irish companies from the ICT, Engineering/Construction Services, Food and Drink, and internationally traded services. Attending companies included Dairymaster, the National Space Centre (which signed a preliminary agreement with RosKosmos during the Trade Mission, see below), Escher Group, Instant Upright, Mercury Engineering, O’Connor Sutton Cronin, and Dublin Aerospace. The IDA, Irish Dairy Board, and Bord Bia also participated, demonstrating a full ‘Team Ireland International’ agency presence.
Ireland’s on the ground presence was underlined by promising meetings with Russia’s second largest mobile operator Megafon, a site visit to Sberbank’s new state of the art data centre designed by Mercury Engineering, a meeting with Transaero (which recently purchased Air Atlanta in Shannon), and an extensive meeting with the leading members of the Global Irish Network in Russia.
Announcing the mission, Minister Costello said:
“This trade mission is designed to assist Irish companies, in every way possible, to increase exports, and create and maintain jobs at home. I am confident that it will also carry forward the momentum of the Joint Economic Commission process and the trade events that have been taking place with increasing regularity over the past year.
“With the very important JEC process re-invigorated following the formalisation of our relationship last November, we have a very solid, and promising Government to Government platform to build on the strong business to business activity reflected in the trade results.”
Enterprise Ireland’s Head of Internationally Traded Services, Kevin Sherry added:
“Enterprise Ireland views Russia as a key growth market with substantial, largely untapped, export potential for Irish companies. 2010 and 2011 were record years for trade between Ireland and Russia and Russia is now Ireland’s fourth largest non-EU export market.
“This demonstrates the significant opportunity in the vast Russian market for our companies, our products, and our know-how and innovation. The best-in-class companies participating on this mission are well positioned to contribute to the continuing growth of Ireland-Russia trade.”
Marking the end of his first year as Head of Enterprise Ireland in Russia and the CIS (which also functions as the Commercial Department of the Embassy of Ireland in Russia) Gerard Michael MacCarthy commented:
“The Trade Mission was a significant step forward – all the strategic goals were met, and the companies participating in the Mission have progressed their business relationships, advancing negotiations that will contribute further to the growth in export figures, and creation of jobs in Ireland, as well as the modernisation process in Russia.
Ireland and Russia – supported by the three pillars of business, government, personal contacts – are in the right place at the right time to develop the full potential of our bilateral relations effectively. Our sense is that Ireland and Russia are very close on so many levels. From a trade and development point of view – our goal is to bring us even closer”
During his visit to Moscow, Minister Costello attended three networking events hosted by Enterprise Ireland: a Client Briefing event attending by local and visiting Irish companies: a Business Networking Breakfast attended by key figures such as the head of strategic development of Oktritie Bank; VP of Business Development at the Skolkovo Foundation, Conor Lenihan; the Belgorod regional development foundation ‘Razvitie Corproration’; the St.Petersburg Electrotechnical Corporation etc; and a Client Buyer Reception for Enterprise Ireland clients, their Russian partners, as well as key figures from the Irish business community, and the Russian Ministries involved in the Joint Economic Commission and Ireland-Russia process.
Note for Editors:
The 8th session of the Ireland-Russia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was held in Moscow in November 2011. A Declaration for Partnership in Modernisation was signed by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., and the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, on that occasion.
The aim of the JEC, which is a Government to Government body, is to promote the development of trade between the countries by increasing links and co-operation between Irish and Russian businesses.
A number of working groups to drive the agenda forward were established including:
1. Education and Training
2. Agriculture (including food and agricultural technology)
3. ICT/High Technology (including e-governance)
4. Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (including construction);
5. Transport (in particular aviation).
2010 and 2011 were record years for trade between Ireland and Russia. Russia is now Ireland’s fourth largest non-EU export market.
Exports of goods to Russia from Ireland, excluding services, in 2011 grew 37% to €509.7m building on a previous record of €372.8 m in 2010. Exports of services also grew 32% from €983m in 2009 to €1300m in 2010.
Irish trade with Russia is varied and reflects the diversity of Ireland’s production base; the biggest export categories are: metalliferous ores and metal scrap (€63m); Medical and pharmaceutical products (€59m); Meat and meat preparations (€58m); Office machines and automatic data processing machines (€46m); and Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof (€43m). Our main imports from Russia are Fertilisers (€88m).