Tuesday 11 December 2018

Three firms expand into China after trade visit as EI targets 40pc export rise

Business Minister Heather Humphreys. Photo: Steve Humphries
Business Minister Heather Humphreys. Photo: Steve Humphries

Michael Cogley

Three Irish companies are to open offices in China following a trade visit there last week.

Business minister Heather Humphries led an Enterprise Ireland mission with 45 Irish businesses participating in the six-day trip.

Wexford-based Taoglas, which provides external antennae for cellular networks, opened its first office in Shenzen to accelerate the company's growth in the Chinese market.

The company has more than 350 employees based across eight facilities in Ireland, Germany, Taiwan, and the USA. The new Chinese bases will be made up of sales, technical, and service teams.

Financial services firm Global Shares also announced plans for further expansion in Asia with the opening of an office in Beijing.

It follows the opening of a separate outlet in Hong Kong earlier in the year. Global Shares has also agreed a strategic partnership with Huanying International, one of Hong Kong's top online brokerages.

Similarly Galway-based medtech firm Aerogen also declared its intention to open an office in Beijing to further its ambitions in the Chinese market.

Enterprise Ireland's director of Asia Pacific, Tom Cusack, said that China represented a "huge opportunity" for Irish exporters. "China is currently the sixth-largest export market for Enterprise Ireland clients who achieved exports of €1.07bn in 2017. Reflecting the market potential, we have our sights set on increasing this by 40pc to €1.44bn in exports by 2020," he said.

"Over 300 Enterprise Ireland clients are currently exporting to China, with approximately 150 clients with a direct sales presence in the market, which is critical to scaling in the market. The Taoglas, Global Shares and Aerogen new office openings are significant milestones for these companies who have ambitious export growth targets for China."

China accounts for 52pc of Enterprise Ireland clients' exports to the Asia Pacific region, increasing by 9.7pc last year to €1.03bn. Exports to the entire region are expected to grow by more than 50pc to €3bn by 2020.

"Expanding the reach of Irish enterprise in diversified export markets is a key strategic priority for Enterprise Ireland and international trade missions and trade fair participation is a key pillar to delivering on this," Cusack said.

The EI visit to China followed a mission to Scotland in September, which was the body's largest to the United Kingdom since the Brexit vote.

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