55 Irish firms attend trade fair in London
Arnotts, DAA among firms eyeing new opportunities in UK
Representatives from 55 Irish companies are taking part in a two-day trade mission in London starting today, to scout for new business opportunities in the UK. Companies taking part include Arnotts, ESB, the GAA, Dublin Airport Authority, KPMG, PayPal and UCD.
Organised by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, it will include a networking reception at the House of Commons as well as briefings from UK business people and site visits.
The Chamber says a similar visit last year to Manchester resulted in one company setting up its UK office there. It is the business group's largest ever international business mission.
International Airlines Group and former Aer Lingus chief executive Willie Walsh will brief participants, as well as Ernst and Young chief economist Mark Gregory.
Fellow Dublin-based business group, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, says Irish business in Britain is key to economic recovery and that British market is a natural destination for Irish businesses looking to expand.
It says Britain is Ireland's third-largest trading partner, after the United States and Belgium.
The top five Irish exports to Britain are organic chemicals, electronics, pharmaceuticals, meat and the machinery sector.
Total Irish exports to the UK in February 2013 totalled €999m. Imports from Britain were worth €1.373bn.
According to Dublin Chamber chief executive Gina Quin: "The level of interest in this business mission has been extremely encouraging and it shows that Irish businesses are keen to engage with the wider business community."