Lifesciences companies visit Japan
Some of Ireland's leading food and lifesciences companies are on a week-long trade mission to Japan.
Junior minister Sean Sherlock will lead the Enterprise Ireland delegation that will focus on export growth to the east Asian country.
He said supporting indigenous businesses to grow and export is central to the Government's plans for recovery, growth and jobs.
"The objective of this trade mission is to continue delivering on these plans by highlighting Ireland's capabilities in food innovation and lifesciences technology," said Mr Sherlock, Minister for Research and Innovation.
"These two sectors are increasingly important in terms of Irish exports to Japan and offer significant potential for further growth in Japan.
"The innovative quality of Ireland's food and lifesciences products, the strong Japanese demand and the active interest of Irish companies in doing business in Japan all combine to create significant potential for winning new business during this mission."
Bord Bia and Teagasc are joining the 14 firms taking part in the mission, which involves meetings with potential Japanese partners and seminars.
In 2011 Ireland exported nearly three billion euro worth of goods and services to Japan, making it the country's 11th largest export market.
Eddie Hughes, Enterprise Ireland's Japan Director, said Irish innovative food and lifesciences technology companies are successful worldwide.
"Japan is a sophisticated market but likewise, Irish companies are at the cutting edge in both lifesciences and functional foods technologies," he added. "So Japan's requirements are closely matched by Ireland's research and processing capabilities in these sectors."