Business support

Experts advise on Doing Business in Ireland

Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are encouraged to take advantage of business opportunities in Ireland at a free event in Inverness this month.

Ireland is Scotland’s sixth largest export market with exports of over £1.1 billion in 2014. It is also the UK’s largest export market in food and drink and second largest in clothing, fashion and footwear.

Held at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, 9:30-12:45, 13 September, the half-day event is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI) with funding from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The event will help businesses find out more about opportunities that exist in the Irish market and will provide valuable advice on how to enter this market successfully.

A range of experts will be on hand with one to one support and advice sessions for businesses at any stage of exporting – from those thinking of exporting for the first time to more established exporters.

With its proximity to Scotland and similar business culture, Ireland can be the ideal starter or test market for companies making the way into exporting for the first time.

Martin Johnson, head of International trade and inward investment at HIE, said: “The Irish market is one which could be attractive to many businesses in the Highlands and Islands. For many companies, Ireland is an ideal starter market to begin their exporting activities. There are opportunities across a range of sectors and many of our region’s businesses are already finding new markets in the country. This event provides an ideal opportunity to learn more, increase market knowledge and take part in one-to-one clinics with specialist and commercial advisers.”

Experts attending and available to speak to on the day include, John McGrane, CEO of the British Irish Chambers of Commerce, Shirley McCay, Director of UK Trade and Investment in Ireland and John Webster from the Scottish Government who heads up the new Scottish innovation and investment hub which opened in Dublin in January.

John Webster leads a Scottish team to enhance business relationships on both sides of the Irish sea. He said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to engage with companies from the Highlands and Islands who are interested in exploring the potential for trade with Ireland. Enhancing trade links between Scotland and Ireland is a priority goal for my team and the potential to develop these important links is huge.

“The Irish economy is growing faster than any other economy in Europe. It has a vibrant, diverse and growing indigenous and multinational company base of which over 95% of active enterprises are SMEs. You will not only find a strongly competitive business environment, but one in which Scots are received warmly. I am looking forward to meeting companies on 13 September, and welcoming those who join the planned trade mission to Ireland later this year.”

HIE’s team of export advisers will also be on hand to offer advice to companies on a one to one basis following the main event.

If anyone is interested in exploring whether they could do business with Ireland, they should register at

The free event is followed by a networking lunch.



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