Following a meeting of the British Irish Council this morning in Manchester, Ireland’s Prime Minister, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar will this afternoon meet with six CEOs of leading Irish companies who are growing their business in Manchester, part of the dynamic growing ‘Northern Powerhouse’ region of the UK. The Enterprise Ireland roundtable event will take place at ESB Energy’s new office in Manchester, which An Taoiseach will officially open today.

The Irish companies taking part in the roundtable engagement with An Taoiseach include; Malone Group, John Sisk & Son, Glanbia Cheese, ESB Energy, TTM Healthcare, Nolan Transport who all have a strong and growing presence in Manchester. Discussions at the roundtable will focus on Irish capability and achievements in the region as well discussions on the current view of the market, including future challenges and opportunities.

The Taoiseach will also visit Sisk’s ‘Circle Square’ development, which is one of the largest schemes in Central Manchester. Sisk is due to complete all current contract works on the project during 2021. Valued at £240 million, at its peak the project will employ a workforce of 1,300.

This visit comes at a time when Enterprise Ireland recently announced its Irish client base increased exports to the UK by 4% to €7.9bn in 2018.  The Irish construction sector recorded the fastest growth up 14% on 2017, while Ireland’s fintech sector exports grew by 15%, cleantech grew by 9% and engineering grew by 5%. Enterprise Ireland client companies are employing more than 100,000 people in the UK.

Speaking during the visit to Manchester today, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, said: “This afternoon’s meetings provide me with a valuable opportunity to hear directly from a number of top Irish companies who are among our biggest exporters to the UK. The UK market is evolving and there are significant opportunities for Irish companies operating in the growing Northern Powerhouse region. Despite the major challenges posed by Brexit, Irish companies are part of the UK business landscape, and the Government, through Enterprise Ireland, wants to help them diversify and grow that business in the years ahead.”

Hosting Enterprise Ireland’s CEO Roundtable, Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland’s Director of UK, Nordics, CEECIS & Russia, said “An Taoiseach’s trade visit to Manchester, supports Enterprise Ireland’s diversification agenda by raising awareness of the opportunities in the UK, particularly in Manchester. Although Brexit introduces challenges and complexity to the market, the UK will continue to be a key market for Irish companies and our exports results to the UK in 2018 reflect this, with a 4% increase on 2017. The opening of Enterprise Ireland’s office in Manchester this year highlights our commitment to the region and the new office will be dedicated to securing business in areas of growth throughout the Northern Powerhouse region.”

Today, An Taoiseach will also officially open the new ESB Energy offices in Manchester during his visit. In 2017 ESB Energy was launched in Great Britain, offering electricity and gas supply to residential customers. The opening of the new ESB Energy office in Manchester provides a base for their UK team to support growth in the Northern UK region, with over 50,000 customers and plans to grow substantially over the next 3 years.

Marguerite Sayers, ESB Executive Director, Customer Solutions, says that the opening of the ESB Energy’s Manchester office by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD marks a significant milestone in the company’s longstanding presence in the UK: “ESB Energy entered the UK retail energy market in 2017 with a pledge to be the most innovative, responsible and easy-to-deal-with energy supplier for electricity and gas customers in Great Britain. With a customer base now in excess of 50,000, ESB Energy’s presence builds on our investment in Britain’s energy sector for over the last 27 years. In that time, we have invested in flexible and renewable generation assets in gas, wind and biomass, including the UK’s most efficient thermal power plant at nearby Carrington. With ESB electric vehicle rapid chargers already on the streets of London and Coventry, we are also developing an extensive network of car charging points across Great Britain. This network – along with the services offered by our new low carbon heating team based in Coventry – supports ESB’s vision of a brighter, low-carbon future for all the communities we serve.”

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. led a two day Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Germany on 14th and 15th November 2017. Central to the itinerary were two world-renowned trade fairs: Medica, the leading global event for manufacturers of medical technologies, and Agritechnica the world’s largest exhibition for agricultural innovations.

As part of the trade mission to Germany, Minister Breen also officiated at the opening of Irish medtech company Aerogen’s new German commercial headquarters today. A world leader in aerosol drug delivery, the opening of Aerogen’s office in Germany, underpins Aerogen’s strengthening position in the German market, as it expands its international presence. The Galway headquartered company now has offices in the UK, France, Germany, China, the United States, and The Middle East.

Germany is a key export market for Ireland. Enterprise Ireland client exports from Ireland to Germany in 2016 were €960 million (up from €927 million in 2015), a growth rate of almost 4%, making Germany the 3rd most important export market for client companies.

Thirty-two medtech companies from Ireland will have a presence at Medica which expects over 120,000 attendees between 13th and 16th November. Minister Breen will meet Irish companies at their exhibits on the Enterprise Ireland pavilion, including; Aerogen, Croom Precision, CF Pharma, EireChrom (P4ML), Fleming Medical, Novaerus, PMD Solutions, and Synecco.

Eighteen Enterprise Ireland Agritech clients will showcase their innovative products, services and technologies to potential customers at Agritechnica in Hanover which anticipates audience numbers of 450,000 between 12th and 18th November.

Exhibiting at the Enterprise Ireland stand at Agritechnica are; Abbey Machinery, Athlone Extrusions Ltd, DeadDock Ltd., Doyle Engineering, Malone Farm Machinery Ltd., Mastek Ltd., and Toughline Manufacturing.

Speaking on his arrival in Germany Minister Breen said “Germany is a leading industrial nation in life sciences, agri-tech, automotive, software and engineering services. The trade mission is critical for providing a platform for Irish companies to present their innovative solutions and network with leading medtech and agritech professionals and Enterprise Ireland is supporting 50 Irish companies to showcase their Irish advantage to over half a million attendees at Medica in Dusseldorf and Agritechnica in Hanover.

The opening of Aerogen’s new German office is yet another milestone in the company’s successful export strategy, which is not only creating jobs in Ireland, but in Germany and around the world. Ireland is now globally recognised as a major centre of excellence in the medical technologies sector and Aerogen is a prime example of a hugely successful Irish medical technologies company, whose success has been built on innovation and having global ambition right from the start.”

Dr. Tom Kelly, Divisional Manager, Industrial, Lifesciences & Consumer at Enterprise Ireland said; “Ireland’s medtech sector now consists of over 250 Enterprise Ireland client companies, with over €2bn in sales, over €1.62bn in exports and employs 8,442 people. Enterprise Ireland currently has 123 clients in the agritech sector which exported goods and services valued at over €254m in 2016”.