Business World

Wednesday 19 December 2018

New strategic report to focus on growing Ireland's financial services in Asian markets

Minister Frances Fitzgerald speaking at the Asia Matters event Credit: Ellie Donnelly
Minister Frances Fitzgerald speaking at the Asia Matters event Credit: Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly & Lucy Hatton

A strategic report on developing a new brand for Ireland’s financial services targeted at Asian markets has been announced.

The report, which has been developed as a partnership project involving Irish think tank on Asia, Asia Matters and PwC, will assist the work of the Department of Finance, IFS Ireland – Ireland’s international financial services brand – and coincide with the IFS 2020 strategy.

The IFS 2020 strategy is a Government initiative for driving the growth and development of international financial services in Ireland.

Making the announcement at the Global Asia Matters Business Summit in Dublin today, Asia Matters executive director Martin Murray said it planned to engage its members in order to establish how best to refocus Ireland’s financial services successful offering in the United States to target the growing Asian market.

"IFS Ireland has been very successful in attracting business from the US. There are great opportunities for the financial services sector in Ireland to grow business in Asia but we need to amend and tailor our offering in a way that resonates with Asian firms," Mr Murray said.

As part of this strategy, Mr Murray said that Asia Matters would be engaging with key stakeholders in the financial powerhouses of Japan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore to produce a new Asian initiative for branding and developing Ireland’s financial services offering.

Joe Tynan, PwC Ireland Head of Tax
Joe Tynan, PwC Ireland Head of Tax

Currently IFS Ireland is home to 400 plus companies, employing 38,000 people.

"Ireland is the fourth largest exporter in the EU of financial services and we are world leaders in aviation leasing and finance and growing significantly across other sectors, including managed funds and insurance," Mr Murray said.

Speaking at the Asia Matters summit, Joe Tynan, PwC Ireland Head of Tax, said the latest survey from Asia indicated that business leaders are intent on pressing ahead with investment plans regardless of current uncertainty. 

Citing the just published survey by PwC of 1,400 business leaders in Asia, Mr Tynan said that 71pc of CEOs expect to rely more on business partnerships/joint ventures in the future. 

"This is good news for Ireland as APEC business leaders are looking increasingly for opportunities outside of their region," Mr Tynan said.

Mr Tynan went on to say that there were "huge opportunities" for Ireland  to become a global trading hub positioning itself as a gateway from Asia to the EU and the US. 

"With geopolitical challenges such as protectionism, global tax reform and Brexit, companies will always need a presence in the markets they serve. Ireland offers a great place for Asian companies to do business with the EU and the US," he said.

The importance of the Asian market to Ireland was backed up by Venkatesh Priyadarshi, head of Tata Ireland and Business Development TCS, who said that there were great positives to trade between Asia and Europe.

Mr Priyadarshi said there were a number of factors behind why Asian companies were expanding in Ireland including the country's membership of the Single Market, its strategic location to access the US market, and the availability of talent in the country.

Currently approximately 11pc of total exports from Ireland are going to the Asian market.

Among the guest speakers at the Asian Matters 2017 event today were Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances  Fitzgerald TD, the Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’ Arcy TD, David Martin, Director China Britain Business Council, Noriyuki Sato, Executive Vice President Mitsui & Co Europe, and Dearbhail McDonald, Group Business Editor Independent News & Media.

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