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Minister John Halligan TD leads 11 companies on Enterprise Ireland trade visit to The Netherlands and Sweden

Focus on increasing trade for Irish plastics & packaging and automotive suppliers in markets beyond the UK in preparation for Brexit.

John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development will lead a 3-day Enterprise Ireland trade visit to The Netherlands and Sweden this week, 10th-12th April 2018.

The first event on the 3-day programme is a visit to the Empack trade show for the plastics and packaging sector in Utrecht, the Netherlands where 6 Enterprise Ireland clients will be participating.

The Benelux region is the biggest plastics converter in the world on a per capita basis and is currently experiencing 21% growth rate in packaging imports.

To capitalise on this, the Enterprise Ireland team in The Netherlands is actively promoting Irish capability in the print, plastics and packaging sector to help companies identify new markets beyond the UK. The Netherlands, with its population of 17m people, most of whom are fluent English speakers, represent an excellent opportunity for Irish companies. Latest figures show that Enterprise Ireland client exports to The Netherlands are close to €1Bn per annum.

As part of the trade visit, Minister Halligan will visit Smurfit Kappa’s Global Experience Centre in Amsterdam and discover leading-edge innovation from Ireland in the Packaging industry.

On Wednesday Minister Halligan will travel on to Sweden to lead a delegation of 5 Enterprise Ireland clients to engage with Swedish automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) including Volvo Cars, AB Volvo Group and Scania.

The Swedish automotive manufacturing industry grew by 11.9% in 2016 to reach a value of €7.4billion. The participating Irish companies will showcase their innovative electronics products and solutions over the 2-day programme.

Speaking prior to his departure Minister Halligan said; “I am delighted to lead this 3-day Enterprise Ireland trade visit to The Netherlands and Sweden. By bringing clients to meet potential customers in the plastics and packaging sector from the Benelux region and world-leading automotive manufacturers in Sweden, Enterprise Ireland is using a very specific, direct approach to assist them to diversify into markets beyond the UK as preparations for Brexit continue’.

Accompanying Minister Halligan, Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland Director UK and Northern Europe said; “Taking in the key markets of The Netherlands and Sweden, this trade visit is part of Enterprise Ireland’s corporate strategy to support scaled global growth for Irish exporters, in particular markets close to Ireland in preparation for Brexit. During the visit to the largest plastics and packaging trade show in The Netherlands and in the one-one-meetings with Swedish automotive manufacturers, Enterprise Ireland will highlight the advantages of sourcing from Ireland, including access to technology and innovation, a reliable supply chain and high quality the goods and services being delivered from a country which is strongly committed to the EU”.


For more information contact:

Grace Labanyi, Corporate Communications, Enterprise Ireland Tel: +353(0)17272820 or

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, Enterprise Ireland Tel: +353(0)87 9671342

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