|The renowned father of modern South Africa, Nelson Mandela, holding the World Cup trophy. The FIFA 2010 World Cup will be held in South Africa. |
World Cup and other opportunities for Irish Firms to be explored during Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission
The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin T.D. has said he will be using an Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission to South Africa to explore the huge opportunities for Irish Firms in a region which is home to 185 million people.
Speaking ahead of Ireland’s largest trade mission to South Africa which begins today, Martin said: "Two-way trade between Ireland and South Africa is worth over €500m a year and there is much scope for further growth. Many of the companies participating in the mission this week are Small and Medium Sized firms seeking local partners to expand operations in the region. The aim of this visit is to support Irish companies to develop a presence in South Africa through trade, investment, partnership and other business linkages.
"Many such strategic alliances already exist between Irish and South African companies and the strong links between the two countries puts Irish business in a prime position to contribute to and benefit from South Africa’s dynamic economic transformation.
"This is an important time in the commercial life of South Africa and many of its neighbours. The 2010 World Cup offers many opportunities for a range of Irish Firms. Our expertise in many areas can be used to support the hosting of this major sporting event for the first time in Africa."
"Dramatic changes in the structures and operations of South Africa’s ports, railways, airports and its utilities such as electricity, water and gas, offer particular opportunities for Irish companies with well established international expertise in these areas."
Conor Fahy, Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Director for Africa said: "South Africa is an emerging market that offers significant scope for new business development both in South Africa itself and in bordering African markets comprised of up to 185 million people. We see opportunities for Irish companies across many sectors including telecommunications, IT, construction, banking and financial services, tourism, education and training.
"This mission aims to boost Irish exports in this emerging market by enabling Irish companies to meet with their existing and new South African customers and partners. These companies can use this opportunity to develop new contacts and to explore opportunities for further links through investment, technology transfer, joint ventures, acquisitions and other forms of joint marketing and trade relationships."
The three-day mission, organised by Enterprise Ireland, comprises representatives from 54 Irish companies and organisations and is being led by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.