Monday 19 February 2018

'With every change, comes opportunity' - Brexit no barrier to success, says head of Enterprise Ireland

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland
Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Opportunities exist in the UK even with Brexit that aren't being tapped by Irish businesses, the head of Enterprise Ireland has said.

The agency tasked with supporting exporting companies has launched a new report aimed at encouraging firms here to take advantage of a UK government initiative established to boost economic growth in the north of England.

The so-called Northern Powerhouse was developed in 2014 to address the region’s economic disparities in comparison to other areas, such as the south of the country.

Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland chief executive, said Brexit is currently having an impact on the profitability of exporting companies because of the weakening of sterling.

But she added: “With every change, comes opportunity. Today, the focus is very much on the opportunities within the Northern Powerhouse.

“We certainly are of the belief that there are opportunities within the UK which are untapped from an Irish company perspective.

“By us working in a more focused way, we have increased our resources in the UK market to make sure that we are there to support Irish companies, to go after the additional opportunities that are there, which haven’t been focused on as much as we believe they need to be.”

The region covered by the Northern Powerhouse initiative covers an area of around 14,400 square miles, with a population of about 14.9 million.

The Enterprise Ireland report noted that if it was a country, it would be the 10th largest economy in Europe.

It exports £50bn worth of goods in 2015.

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