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Minister welcomes the success of Irish companies on Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa

Trade, Press Releases, Africa, 2012

Irish companies secure over €6 million in new export sales in South Africa

Irish companies participating in this week’s Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa, led by Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, have secured new contracts totalling over €6m and agreed significant business alliances across a range of business sectors.  Minister Costello also launched two industry expert panels that will support Irish companies seeking to win new business in South Africa in the financial services and telecommunications sectors.  These announcements underline the growing opportunities for Irish companies in the very important South Africa market, a priority market under the Government’s Trade Strategy, which is also considered to be the gateway to Sub- Saharan Africa. 

The trade mission involving 35 companies, which was primarily focussed on the ICT, international education and financial services sectors, was organised by Enterprise Ireland in close cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria.

The Minister’s intensive three-day schedule included five major networking events with South African and Irish businesses and other key contacts, as well as 16 individual company meetings with Irish companies and their South African partners and customers.  Minister Costello also took part in a series of high level meetings with a number of major South African companies promoting the capabilities and strengths of Irish companies in key sectors.

Minister Costello described the trade mission as very important in terms of deepening Ireland’s trade and economic ties in the region, as well as supporting the aims of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Africa Strategy

“This was a highly successful mission both in terms of business secured and in terms of the introductions and connections made.  It is tremendously encouraging to see Irish companies winning new business in South Africa.  Enterprise Ireland opened a new office in Johannesburg in February of this year that acts as a hub for supporting Irish companies in growing their trade relationships and export sales in South Africa and in the wider Sub-Saharan African market of over 900 million people.  My Department, the Embassy Network and Enterprise Ireland are working closely together to ensure that Irish exports to these increasingly important markets continue to grow, in line with the aims of my Department’s Africa Strategy and the overall Government Trade Strategy”.

Among the contracts and alliances agreed were:

-      Digital Marketing Institute agreed a partnership with Vega School of Brand Leadership that will see over 3,000 students undertake digital marketing training in South Africa.  Vega School will deliver the Digital Marketing Institute’s Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing programme.  The Institute forecasts that the South Africa market will generate revenues in excess of €3m by 2015.

-      The Now Factory signed a new contract with Vodacom for its Mobile Moments Vantage solution, enabling the South Africa-based operator to accurately measure the performance of its data network in real time and optimise the customer experience of its 31 million subscribers.

-      Druid Software, the Irish mobile network software development company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jasco, the South African owned ICT converged solutions provider, to supply Fixed Mobile Converged solutions to enterprise customers in sub-Saharan Africa. 

-      Minister Costello also inaugurated Enterprise Ireland’s Expert Panels in Financial Services and in Telecommunications to support Irish companies in these sectors increase their business presence and win new export contracts in the growing South African market.  These expert panels are made up of industry experts in South Africa with extensive expertise and knowledge of the market and industry institutions.  They will provide strategic planning support, advice and introductions for Irish companies seeking to enter or expand their business in the market.   

Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland’s Head of International Sales and Partnering, who is accompanying Minister Costello on the trade mission, commented:

”The trade mission has been a significant success for Irish companies. They are carving out a strong reputation for Irish products and services, confirming that there are significant opportunities for increased trade and partnerships between Irish and South African companies.  The market growth is in sectors where Enterprise Ireland’s client companies are particularly strong performers, including telecommunications, eLearning, financial services technology and life sciences.  Enterprise Ireland will continue to provide every support to Irish companies to secure more business in the region”.

Following the trade mission, the Minister is today attending the Ireland-South Africa Partnership Forum in Cape Town to lead discussions with the South African Government on increasing trade and tourism between the two countries. Also on the agenda will be political developments in Africa and the future of Ireland’s development cooperation partnership with South Africa .Minister Costello said:

“I will brief the South African Government on the upcoming Irish EU Presidency and the political priorities on which we plan to focus, including developments in Zimbabwe.  I will also take the opportunity to communicate the work which the Government and people of Ireland are under-taking to recover from the Eurozone economic crisis.”