Irish companies must put plans in place to protect themselves against the risks of Brexit in what will be a challenging year, Enterprise Ireland (EI) chief executive Julie Sinnamon has warned.
Writing in today's Sunday Independent she says: "I urge companies who haven't already done so to put a plan in place to identify and mitigate potential risks facing their business arising from Brexit, particularly in the immediate term, in the area of currency risk-management."
She said that the body had already introduced several supports for regional companies.
"While we are pleased to report these positive results, as the phase-two Brexit negotiations commence, significant challenges remain for Irish companies.
"With a potential slowdown in the UK economy and possibly further currency volatility, we expect 2018 to be a challenging year for Irish companies," she continues.
"It makes good business sense to have a robust strategy in place to ensure that your business is more innovative, competitive and diversified into key markets, whatever the eventual outcome of the negotiations."
In the coming weeks, a new market discovery fund will be available to Irish business.
The fund will support companies to undertake the groundwork and preparations necessary to enter new markets.
A "key concern is the lack of sustained investment in innovation by many Irish companies," she writes.
Sunday Indo Business