QUESTION NO: 198
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Darragh O'Brien
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 20/06/2017
To ask the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation if consideration has been given or analysis undertaken with regard to expanding Enterprise Ireland's worldwide office network in view of the impact that Brexit will have on the economy; if consideration has been given to or an analysis undertaken of expanding Enterprise Ireland's office network further into eastern Europe; if it has considered Slovakia in particular; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
In Budget 2017, additional funding was provided to Enterprise Ireland (EI) to recruit 39 new staff, located in Ireland and overseas to support clients to maintain existing markets and to diversify into new markets.
EI has an established process for working with companies as they identify opportunities and begin to enter new markets. Enterprise Ireland’s overseas structure, through its network of 32 overseas offices and its extended Pathfinder (Trade Consultant) network, provides client companies with the appropriate support in markets where there are identified opportunities matched by client capability and client demand.
In addition to Incubation and Hot-Desking Facilities, Enterprise Ireland’s client companies can access market knowledge on a sectoral basis, introductions to buyers/suppliers/partners in-market and market intelligence such as competitor analysis, identification of professional services etc.
The activities of Enterprise Ireland’s overseas network are supported by the Market Research Centre and Strategic Marketing Unit based in Dublin along with a range of financial and capability developments supports aimed at helping client companies to compete and win sales in overseas markets.
As part of its Strategy 2017-2020, EI aims to help Irish exporters increase exports into the Eurozone by 50% by 2020. The Eurozone will now be the first market for Enterprise Ireland backed exporters and EI will highlight priority sectors and encourage growth targets in areas like construction, engineering and the life sciences/medtech sectors.
There are three Enterprise Ireland offices serving Central and Eastern European markets, based in Warsaw, Prague and Budapest. EI has and will continue to have a strong policy of maintaining a flexible approach to the deployment of resources across international markets in line with changing market opportunities. This is reflected in the Agency’s ability to open and close offices and to move resources across markets as required. In all cases, Enterprise Ireland’s focus is on those markets that offer realisable commercial potential for our clients be it in the short, medium or long term.