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Minister Bruton leads 4-day, 4-city St Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” mission to Germany as Irish exports to Europe’s largest economy increase by 16%

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD this morning (Saturday) departs on a 4-day, 4-city trade, investment and tourism mission to Germany.

10 trade/investment events attended by total of over 100 companies as part of 20 meetings and events on intensive mission


16th March 2013

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD this morning (Saturday 16th March) departs on a 4-day, 4-city trade, investment and tourism mission to Germany.

The mission comes as part of the Government’s Ministerial-led St Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme, which will see the Taoiseach and 19 Ministers visit 21 countries to take part in 30 high-level political meetings and over 150 business events involving hundreds of companies.

Minister Bruton mission to Europe’s largest economy and one of Ireland’s top-4 trading partners will include:

·      9 bilateral meetings with IDA and Enterprise Ireland target companies

·      1 further trade/investment event bringing the total of companies involved to well over 100

·      5 Irish tourism/cultural events

·      2 Bord Bia events to promote Irish food exports

·      2 meetings with German media as part of the continuing drive to rebuild Ireland’s reputation

Germany is the largest economy in Europe and a key trading partner with Ireland, our second-largest trading partner for services and fourth-largest trading partner for goods. In 2012 total Irish exports to Germany, at over €7.5billion, were up 16% on 2011. Germany is also the world’s third-largest source of tourists to Ireland, with over 400,000 German tourists visiting Ireland in 2012.

This is Minister Bruton’s 14th major trade/investment mission in 24 months since taking office, and follows a 40-company, 4-day Enterprise Ireland mission to Texas from which he returned earlier this week.

Speaking before leaving Dublin this morning, Minister Bruton said:

“The Irish economy is currently in a transition from the old, failed model reliant on property and debt to the new, sustainable model we are building based on enterprise, exports and innovation. Ministerial-led trade and investment missions form a key part of our plan to build that new economy, continue increasing our exports and create jobs. Since 2011 we have more than doubled the number of Ministerial-led Enterprise Ireland trade missions, and the St Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme plays a key part in this too.

“The plan is working. Total Irish exports in 2011 were higher than the pre-crisis peak, and 2012 broke records again with a further increase of up to 6%. Employment in exporting sectors continues to increase, driving the overall employment growth we have seen recently with private sector jobs increasing by 15,000 in the past 15 months.

“Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, is a key trade and investment partner, and a great model for much of what we are trying to achieve in the Irish economy. In particular, the family-owned, mid-sized, employment-intensive companies that thrive here provide an example for the jobs growth we are aiming for. I look to using the focus that St Patrick’s Day brings to build on the strong relationships that exist already, further grow our exports and create the jobs we need”.


Germany is the world’s 2nd largest exporting nation.  Its economy is the largest in Europe and constitutes almost 1/3 of the Euro Zone.  German GDP expanded by 0.7% in 2012 (+0.9% calendar-adjusted), mainly driven by robust exports. 

Germany is the leading economy in the Euro zone and a very valuable market for Irish goods. Germany was Ireland’s 4th largest merchandise trading partner in terms of total merchandise trade in 2012. Total trade of €10.94 bn (an increase of €1bn on 2011) of which €7.53bn was exports and €3.41bn was imports. This represents growth of 16% in exports since 2011 while imports from Germany were down by 8%.  In 2011 (latest figures available) Germany was Ireland’s 2nd largest partner in terms of net services trade.  Food exports to Germany continue to perform strongly particularly in the dairy and beef sectors and Germany is also the 3rd most important source of tourists for Ireland with 448,200 visitors in 2012.

20 Irish companies are taking part in this trade mission. These companies are doing business in Germany in sectors including consumer, environmental and manufacturing technologies, automotive, telecoms and retail sector, and alone have contributed to almost €9m export growth to Germany in 2012. Supporting over 1300 jobs in Ireland, this group of Enterprise Ireland client firms have also created over 180 new jobs in Ireland in 2012. In discussions around the Minister’s trade mission, business opportunities to the value of over €3,75m are being progressed and will make a significant contribution to strong export numbers expected for Germany in 2013. In 2010 and 2011, overall exports to Germany by Enterprise Ireland clients rose by 22% and 17% respectively

This is Minister Bruton’s fourteenth major trade/investment mission in 24 months since taking office in March 2011.

The 13 previous missions undertaken comprise:

·      Five IDA investment missions to the USA, two to the east coast, two to the west coast and one encompassing the East Coast, South and Mid-West

·      Five Enterprise Ireland trade missions, one to Texas, one to the south-eastern USA, one to Saudi Arabia and India, one to Canada and one to France accompanied by a total of well over 100 Irish companies looking to break into new export markets

·      A 7-day joint EI/IDA mission to China led by the Taoiseach

·      A 5-day EI/IDA trip to the west coast of the USA built around St Patrick’s Day 2012

·      A 2-day mission to Germany around St Patrick’s Day 2011, including a series of meetings arranged by Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland.

Extracts from Programme:

Saturday 16th March

18.00   St Patrick’s Mass, Munich

20.00   St Patrick’s Day Reception with Irish Community in Munich

German Irish Friendship Society and Irish Business Network Munich Branch

Sunday 17th March

12.00 -13.00    Parade, Munich

13.00 – 17.30 Post Parade Event and Concert, including speech by Minister Bruton and meetings with Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia staff manning stands at the event

18.00 -19.30    Press Conference/Photo Op at Allianz Arena for German media

The Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich FC, is being greened for St Patrick’s Day. This

will be major boost for the profile of Ireland in Germany this St Patrick’s Day

21.20 -22.30    Flight to Cologne/Bonn airport

Monday 18th March

07:00               Breakfast briefing with EI

08:00 – 08:45  Meeting with Enterprise Ireland client company and German buyer

09.30 – 11.00  Meeting with Enterprise Ireland client company and German buyer

12.00 – 12.45  Meeting with Enterprise Ireland target company

13.30 – 15.00  Bord Bia Irish Beef Event

Bord Bia will host an Irish Beef promotion lunch aimed at the press and suppliers. This event will give the Minister an opportunity to highlight a real success story for Ireland in Germany with beef sales increasing year on year towards a target of 30,000 tonnes by 2015.

16.00 – 17.00  Meeting with IDA target company

Transfer to Cologne

18.00 – 20.00              St Patrick’s Day Reception in Cologne

20.30 -22.30    Engagement with Local Business and Community Leaders hosted by Irish Honorary Consul

Tuesday 19th March

6.20 -7.30        Flight from Cologne/Bonn to Munich

09.00 – 10.00  Meeting with IDA target company

11.00 – 12.00  Meeting with IDA target company

12.30 – 13.45              Lunch meeting with IDA target company     

14.30 – 15.30    Meeting with Enterprise Ireland target company

15:00 – 16.40  Meeting with Enterprise Ireland clientcompany and German buyer  

17.00– 17.45   Meeting and discussion with expert on the German Mittelstand sector of employment-intensive mid-sized companies, Prof. Bernd Venohr, to explore the factors which have made Germany’s mid-sized and family-owned manufacturing companies world leaders while maintaining a significant employee base in Germany.

18.30 – 22.00  Multi Agency Business Dinner

Minister to host and speak at a dinner with over 100 clients and customers of Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and IDA. The dinner will showcase Irish food.

Wednesday 20th March

08.00 – 08.45  Interview with Münchener Merkur newspaper

09.00               Depart Hotel for Airport

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