Minister Bruton leads 5-day trade and investment mission to China and Japan

Joint IDA/Enterprise Ireland mission includes more than 30 high-level meetings and events to target ICT and financial services sector.

Number of Ministerial-led Enterprise Ireland trade missions has doubled since launch of Action Plan for Jobs.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD today (Saturday) departs on a trade and investment mission to China and Japan.

Since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in early 2012 the number of trade missions led by Enterprise Ireland has doubled, from an average of 8.5 (2007-2011) to an average of 17 (2012 and scheduled for 2013). The Action Plan for Jobs includes a commitment by Government to carry out an intensive programme of Ministerial-led trade and investment missions.

The 5 full days of the mission to Shenzhen, Beijing and Tokyo will include more than 30 high-level meetings and events with two primary aims:
· attracting investment and jobs to Ireland from multinational companies from China and Japan,
· supporting Irish companies seeking to increase their exports to China and Japan, thereby growing economic activity and jobs in Ireland.

The mission, arranged jointly by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland under Minister Bruton’s Department, will target particularly the ICT and financial services sector, and will include meetings with some of the biggest companies in the world in these sectors.
In March 2012 the Taoiseach together with Minister Bruton led a high-level trade and investment mission to China which included meetings with then Premier Wen Jiabao as well as then Vice President and now President Xi Jinping. Minister Bruton will be the fourth Cabinet Minister to lead a mission to China since then, as part of the Government’s strategy to target growth markets and China in particular.

The intensive programme of more than 30 high-level meetings and events includes:
· 11 one-on-one meetings with multinational companies considering establishing operations in Ireland or already located here. These 11 companies employ a total of almost 1 million people worldwide,
· 15 events and meetings aimed at promoting Irish companies who are seeking to increase their exports in the Chinese/Japanese markets, and facilitating contacts for them with Chinese/Japanese companies who might buy their products or services,
· Three media events, one in each of Shenzhen, Beijing and Tokyo, to communicate Ireland’s recovery story and in particular the strengths of Irish exporting companies and of Ireland as a location for multinational investment,
· Four high-level political meetings, in both China and Japan.

Speaking prior to departing, Minister Bruton said:

“Central to the Government’s plans for jobs and growth is driving an export-led recovery, and in the past two years we have seen a turnaround in employment in the exporting sectors of the economy. In the three years 2008-2010 Irish and multinational exporting companies lost more than 40,000 jobs, but since 2011 they have added over 15,000 jobs. Each job added in companies in these sectors leads to approximately one additional job elsewhere in the economy. As part of the transition to a new economy based on enterprise, innovation and exports that we are supporting, we must not only continue to grow jobs in multinational companies, but also support ambitious Irish companies seeking to grow their exports and jobs.

“Through the Action Plan for Jobs we have implemented a range of changes to provide better supports for companies who are determined to continue growing their exports and creating new jobs, including the establishment of a Potential Exporters Division in Enterprise Ireland and a series of tax changes to make it easier to place staff in overseas markets and to attract key multinational executives to Ireland.

“Key growth markets such as China are particular targets, and since the Taoiseach and I travelled to there last year the Government has stepped up our efforts to improve our performance in exports and investment with China. We have delivered increases in the intensity of our programme of Ministerial-led trade missions, and I am determined that through the intensive series of meetings and events that we hold this week, we will help grow exports and investment in this high-growth market and help create the jobs in Ireland we need”.

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