Irish companies have excelled in exports to Russia, showing export increases of 19 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011 and a 64 per cent increase compared to 2010, a business conference heard today.

Speaking at the Enterprise Ireland Russian Business Forum, Minister for Small Business John Perry TD said Russia was now the ninth most important international export market for Enterprise Ireland companies. Indeed latest Enterprise Ireland statistics show that in total 46 per cent of exports to Russia are generated by indigenous Irish businesses.

“The Government’s strategic objective is to support, through Enterprise Ireland, indigenous Irish companies to deliver 60,000 new jobs and €17bn exports by 2015. Many small businesses by their very nature can only focus on the domestic market. However, for many others, overseas markets offer an aspiration goal a target to aim for once local stability has been secured. That goal in relation to Russia has been defined clearly over the past number of years.”

We are confident these figures can grow,” said the minister, “as more Irish companies explore the Russian market. But for this to happen, we need many more companies to look at Russia and include it in their development strategies. And we need to support Irish companies, already active in the Russian market, to further develop sales and exports contacts and strengthen their relationships with key partners, increasing market awareness of Ireland, of Irish excellence and the uniqueness of what we can offer to Russia.”

The conference heard the Ireland-Russia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) process is under way. The JEC chairman from Russia, Maxim Travnikov, is due to visit by the end of June and a full Ireland-Russia JEC session is scheduled in Dublin later this year.  In addition an Enterprise Ireland aviation and transport trade mission to Moscow to be lead by Minister for Transport is set for October.

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