Ireland has substantial bilateral trade in goods and services with South Africa, totalling €1,525m in 2015 and including sectors such as insurance, financial services, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and machinery, and there is great potential for this to grow even further. Irish companies employ several thousand people in South Africa, while South African companies have made significant investments in Ireland in recent years. Trade with the other countries covered by Embassy Pretoria, including Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mauritius and Lesotho, offers similarly strong potential for growth.
There are many excellent reasons for companies in South Africa and the region to partner with Irish companies for trade and investment. Ireland is a committed member of the European Union, so goods produced in Ireland meet high quality standards, and Ireland can act as a gateway to the European market of 500 million consumers. Doing business with Irish companies means working with the most flexible and adaptable workforce in the world, and availing of the third most resilient supply chain in the world. Ireland's open economy provides a wealth of opportunity for investors and trading partners.
Irish companies produce top quality goods and services in a wide range of sectors, from medtech to construction, and from agri-food to finance. Companies interested in sourcing supplies or services from Ireland can find more information here.
Enterprise Ireland, Ireland's state agency supporting Irish companies doing business overseas, can also help you to locate an Irish supplier to meet your company's needs. You can get in touch with Enterprise Ireland's South Africa office, which covers sub-Saharan Africa, here.
Ireland is also an attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment – in fact we are rated as first in the world for inward investment by quality and value. Our track record is strong, with many of the world's top pharmaceutical, software, medtech and financial services companies choosing to invest in Ireland. Companies interested in exploring the investment opportunities that Ireland has to offer can learn more from the IDA, Ireland's state agency responsible for supporting inward investors.
Agri-business is a growing industry in Ireland and an area where we have a particularly strong competitive advantage. Ireland ranks first in the world for the quality of our scientific research into the animal and dairy sectors, and our climate, commitment to sustainability, and innovation means that our agriculture sector offers excellent opportunities for investment. Agri-food companies interested in investing in Ireland can learn more here.
Business Ireland Africa aims to raise awareness in Ireland of business opportunities in Africa, and is an excellent place to network with Irish companies interested in doing business with Southern African partners.
Business Ireland Southern Africa's members include Irish businesspeople and entrepreneurs living and working in Southern Africa. With chapters in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Harare and Maputo, this network provides links with hundreds of Irish businesspeople in a range of sectors.
If you have an enquiry about doing business with Ireland, please contact us.