Business Irish

Monday 11 November 2019

Enterprise Ireland opening Montreal office to exploit EU-Canada trade pact

Business Minister Pat Breen. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Business Minister Pat Breen. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Shawn Pogatchnik

Enterprise Ireland is opening an office in Montreal, its second base in Canada, to exploit opportunities from the country’s free trade pact with the European Union.

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement - signed in 2016 but yet to be ratified by Ireland and more than a dozen other EU members - is already provisionally in force. It has eliminated 98pc of the tariffs and customs duties on trade between Canada, the world’s tenth-largest economy, and the EU.

Enterprise Ireland’s country manager for Canada, Neil Cooney, announced plans for Montreal to join Toronto as an EI base at today’s “Ambition North America Conference” at City West in Dublin. The event brought together more than 200 representatives from Irish companies seeking to enter or expand operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“Montreal and wider Quebec is a dynamic, fast growing economy which presents a unique opportunity for Irish companies doing business across a range of sectors,” said Mr Cooney, who described Montreal as “a world-leading hub for aerospace, life sciences, artificial intelligence and finance".

Trade minister Pat Breen said companies needed to target North America - already Ireland’s top trading partner - as a logical hedge against potential lost business with the UK.

“In the context of Brexit, trade diversification for Irish companies is hugely important in building resilience,” he said. “North America has long been one of Ireland’s closest and most significant trading partners and offers a proven, established option for companies seeking to diversify.”

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