Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Doing Business with ireland

The Irish Government has designated South Africa as a priority market for exports. This is clearly demonstrated by the Trade Missions to South Africa in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the opening of an Enterprise Ireland office in Johannesburg in 2013. The wider Sub-Saharan Africa region has also been recognised as having major potential for Irish exporters.

The Embassy is playing an important role in supporting the growth of Irish trade with South Africa and the wider region. We work closely with key partners including Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, Bórd Bia and the Business Ireland Southern Africa network to support the further expansion of trade to support job creation and Ireland’s economic recovery.

Ireland has a genuine two-way trade and investment relationship with South Africa. Irish companies, including Kerry Ingredients and the Irish Dairy Board employ over 13,000 people in South Africa and South African companies, including Aspen Pharmaceuticals and Investec are now well established in Ireland, providing many high-end job opportunities for Irish citizens.

Business organisations such as the Irish Exports Association have recognised the huge potential of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for Irish business. Total Irish exports to the region were valued at over €2.7 billion in 2012, which represented an increase of some 200% in the three years since 2009. They believe that exports from Ireland to Africa have the realistic potential to reach €24 billion by the end of this decade, which rivals the growth figures forecast for China.

The Embassy is at the forefront of the Irish Government’s Africa Strategy launched in 2011. The Africa Strategy is a comprehensive framework for Ireland’s business, political and development relations with Africa over the coming years.

The Africa Strategy acknowledges that many African countries are mobilising domestic resources to drive their own development. However, it also acknowledges the substantial challenges that remain: that high growth rates do not automatically end poverty and that drought, population growth and conflict can set back progress.

The Africa Strategy recognises that Irish companies are well-placed to play a greater role in meeting Africa’s changing needs. Ireland will continue to provide development aid to Africa to fight poverty and hunger and promote inclusive economic growth. Our long term aim is to end dependency on aid and to build a new relationship with Africa based on politics, democracy and trade.