Firms seek to tap into Russian export market
TRADE Minister Billy Kelleher begins a week-long trade mission to Russia today as he seeks to tap into one of Ireland's smallest but fastest growing European export markets.
The 30 firms visiting Russia alongside Mr Kelleher include engineering, construction, food, education and business services companies.
The trade mission was organised by Enterprise Ireland to coincide with President Mary McAleese's visit to Russia.
Russia's "continued economic development has resulted in a wide range of business and commercial opportunities for Irish firms", Mr Kelleher said.
"We want to give Irish firms opportunities to strengthen their business links with Russia and help new market-entrants to land their first breakthrough sale."
While Russia is Europe's largest emerging market, it is still a tiny market for Irish business. Imports from Russia were worth just €2.5m in May for example.
Imports in the first five months of the year were worth just €87.2m while exports were worth €152.4m in the same period, making trade between Ireland and Russia less valuable than trade with Mexico or Turkey.
"Irish products and services are well matched to the opportunities arising in Russia through the expanding Russian economy and the development of the Russian telecommunications, banking and services sectors," said Enterprise Ireland boss Frank Ryan.