Over €40m in trade and investment announcements by Irish companies as part of Enterprise Ireland trade mission to China – Minister Bruton

Contracts between Irish and Asian companies worth just under €5million and the creation of 20 jobs were among the initial, immediate results of the 5-day Enterprise Ireland trade mission to China and Korea, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced as the mission finished.

In addition, investments of €36million in business opportunities in Asia were agreed by Irish companies during the week-long trade and investment mission.

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The announcement comes at the end of a five-day programme to Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul, in which 41 companies participated, targeting export and investment opportunities for Irish companies across sectors including Financial Services, Clean technologies, Information & Communication Technologies, Pharmaceuticals, Agricultural Technologies, Medical Devices and Education.

The trade and investment mission also included 13 bilateral meetings with IDA Ireland target companies, as well as engagements with many more such companies in a group setting, during which many projects with potential to create jobs in Ireland were discussed and advanced. Speaking from Seoul Minister Bruton said: “At the heart of our Action Plan for Jobs is building a new, sustainable economy based on exports and innovation.

As part of this strategy we have put in place a number of measures including doubling the number of trade missions and putting extra IDA and Enterprise Ireland staff in foreign markets. “This is my sixth trade and investment mission to Asia since taking office, and the intensity of visits by other Ministers to this part of the world has also seen a major step up. As the immediate results from this mission show, we are really starting to see the concrete signs of progress in these markets. This progress was evident in every meeting I attended – people in Government, business and the media are more aware of Ireland, more aware of the strengths we bring to the table, and more willing to do business with us. “I have said before that Irish entrepreneurs and business-people are the real heroes of the recovery we are starting to see across our economy. The 41 companies who participated in this mission, some of whom have finalised deals, others of whom have made major progress, have done great work over this week. These are the pioneers who will drive our employment recovery, and I wish them every success with pursuing the opportunities that have developed over the past week”. In line with Enterprise Ireland’s strategy, the objective of the Trade Mission was to build on Ireland’s existing economic links with China and Korea. The visit facilitated practical relationship building for Irish companies with their current and prospective counterparts in both markets, as well as raising the profile of Ireland at the highest levels of Government.

Over the course of the five day programme introductions were made, contacts developed and business relationships progressed from which significant increases in exports and jobs by Irish companies are targeted over the coming years. Among the deals announced during the mission were: Accuris Networks announced a strategic partnership with Autelan, the biggest Chinese-based Wi-Fi infrastructure provider to bring seamless, secure Wi-Fi offload to Chinese mobile carriers such as China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom as well as carriers in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. OpenJaw Technologies, leading online technology partner to the world’s biggest travel brands, announced plans to grow its operation into Asia Pacific, from a new office base in Hong Kong. Med-tech firm ArraVasc Ltd., based in Galway, signed a new contract with a leading medical device distributor Shanghai Micro Medical worth at least $3.5m of business for new peripheral vascular products. The contract will help to create at least 20 new jobs over the next 2-3 years. Irish company ChinaHR, the largest Irish employer in China, announced plans for the further significant expansion of its operations. Announcing an investment of €30 million, the company aims to provide full HR solutions throughout China. The investment includes the launch this week of the company’s HTLM5 mobile website which will significantly strengthen its online offering. ChinaHR has a very strong presence both online and offline, having grown by 60 per cent and placed 1 million jobs in the last twelve months. Clavis Insight, a technology leader at the forefront of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) eCommerce revolution, announced the opening of a new office in Shanghai to support their growing customer base in the Asia-Pacific region. This comes at a time when China has surpassed the US as the largest eCommerce market in the world. Dublin-based Cylon Controls announced a Joint Venture (JV) in China with Sinosteel.

The estimated investment from Sinosteel will be approx. €6m, and the JV will locally manufacture Cylon’s Building Management Systems which are widely used in public building and commercial properties. Datalex plc, a leading provider of e-commerce and retail solutions to the travel industry, announced the opening of a new office in Beijing. Keelings Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keelings Group, announced that it will further expand its roots in China through co-operation with the Bright Food (Group) Corporation Limited in fresh produce supply chain innovation and standardization through its Shanghai subsidiary (Green Island Keelings Solutions Information Technology – Shanghai). The deal is worth in excess of €1m. Ocuco, leading providers of retail software solutions and lab management solutions to independent optical practices, medium sized groups, large chains, optical labs and ophthalmology clinics announced the opening of a new office in Shanghai to support their growing business in China. Zenith Technologies based in Cork has partnered with the Chinese division of ABB, a Global Electrical conglomerate, to provide state of the art technology solutions and platforms for the emerging Chinese Life Science Industry. Summit Bridge Capital, a leading technology growth capital investor and manager of the China Ireland Technology Growth Fund, announced the creation of a first-ever China-based executive networking and relationship group that will connect C-level Irish Executives with their Chinese counterparts.

The high-level group, Sino-Irish Technology Executive Society (SITES), will bring together leading technology executives from the Republic of Ireland and the People’s Republic of China for a number of forums each year to promote cross-border trade. Dublin-based company Fishtree, providers of one of the world’s leading learning platforms, signed a strategic alliance to partner with SK Telecom, Korea’s leading telecommunications company, and a global leader in innovation. The partnership is focused on offering new and combined solutions for classrooms all over the world, with leading hardware, software and content solutions. Kevin Sherry, Head of International Sales and Partnering with Enterprise Ireland, who is accompanying Minister Bruton on the trade mission added: “A key element of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is to grow indigenous Irish companies on a global scale. Ministerial-led trade missions provide a strong platform to promote Ireland and Irish companies as strategic partners across multiple sectors in growing markets like China, and demonstrate how Enterprise Ireland can act as a conduit for international buyers to Ireland’s world class goods and services. The announcements made by Irish companies during this trade mission clearly demonstrate the opportunities that exist for highly innovative and ambitious Irish companies in China and Asia. Enterprise Ireland will continue to work closely with our client companies as they grow their international footprint and create much-needed jobs in Ireland”. www.djei.ie