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Over 150 senior business leaders from Asia Pacific’s leading telecoms, banks and airlines in Dublin to accelerate business opportunities with Irish companies at Enterprise Ireland’s Ambition Asia Pacific Conference

“Asia is fast becoming the centre of global economic activity, as the Asian Century unfolds” said John Ferguson, Director of Country forecasting at The Economist Intelligence Unit, opening Enterprise Ireland’s Ambition Asia Pacific Conference at the Aviva this morning.

“All economic indicators point to the rise of the Asian economies. Asia is already home to more than half the world’s population and by 2020 will be home to half of the world’s middle class. Of the world’s 30 largest cities, 21 are in Asia. There’s huge potential for globally ambitious companies to look East and enter and scale these economies, which are assuming the position of the main growth engine of the world.” added John Ferguson.

While Irish companies are looking East for export growth opportunities, Enterprise Ireland is hosting over 150 senior business leaders from Asia Pacific’s leading telecoms, banks, airlines and education institutions in Ireland this week for a series of events and meetings with Irish companies with the potential to scale or enter the Asia Pacific region.

The delegation includes over 50 representatives from China Hi Tech Shenzhen, China’s important hub for electronics and digital technologies. Senior decision makers from 18 Asia Pacific airlines and 35 Asia Pacific banks are also part of the high-level delegation, including: airlines Hong Kong Express, SF Express China, NokAir Thailand and banks including Yes Bank India, HSBC Singapore, and telecoms including Vodafone India and SK Telecom Korea.

The centre piece of the week is the Enterprise Ireland Ambition Asia Pacific conference in the Aviva today bringing together the Asia Pacific delegation and over 200 Irish companies with their sights on the region.

Welcoming the delegation to Ireland and officially opening the event, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, said: “In the context of Brexit, trade diversification for Irish companies is hugely important in building resilience.  As the world’s fastest growing region, the Irish Government, through Enterprise Ireland is supporting Irish companies to build its considerable export footprint in Asia Pacific.   Our companies continue to succeed in winning business and forming strategic investment partnerships in global markets.   This is a testament to our commitment to open trade and the benefits of EU membership coupled with our new dynamic approach to embracing innovation and technological change which is at the heart of our new Future Jobs Ireland strategy.”

Tom Cusack, Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Director for the Asia Pacific region said “With such a high-level delegation from Asia Pacific in Ireland this week, the focus is on showcasing Ireland’s strengths and capabilities and strengthening our business ties and exports to the region. The region’s size, economic growth rates and increasing accessibility presents a huge opportunity for Irish exporters. Over 600 Enterprise Ireland companies are currently exporting to the regions with exports of over €2bn, but a third of all our clients are focused on expanding into this market, with Asian economies forecast to be larger than the rest of the world combined by 2020. With a strong team in 8 Enterprise Ireland offices across the region, we are focused on growing the ambition of Irish companies to look East and seize the opportunity of the Asian Century.”

With over 150 CEOs, market experts and buyers from the AsiaPacific region attending the conference, Irish companies have an opportunity today to engage with senior decision makers from across the region and learn from key market experts on the growth potential in the Asia Pacific region.

Keynote speakers at the event include Brian Mehigan, Chief Strategy Officer, Kerry Group Plc who will share insights on Kerry’s growth and the importance of the Asia Pacific market, while Felimy Green, former Chief Digital & Client Experience Officer, Asia & EMEA at Citi will speak on the topic of digital disruption in the world’s more dynamic market. Niall Norton, CEO Openet, Elaine Coughlan, Partner Atlantic Bridge, Andrew Day, CEO Keywords, Denis Hickie General Manager, ATA Group and Juliette Hussey, VP at Trinity College are among the panelists who will share their experiences on building a successful business in the region.

Rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll also joins the event today to share his perspective on building ambition in high performing teams.


For reference, please contact:

Marika MacCarvill, International PR, Enterprise Ireland

Tel: 00 353 86 171 2568 /