The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) continues to place a strong emphasis on Asian markets as it announced details of its 2014 Asia Trade Forum today in Iveagh House.

According to chairman, Hugh Kelly, projected growth rates in Irish exports to China of up to 11 per cent per annum up to 2030 are expected, followed closely by growth in exports to India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“By 2017, China is projected to overtake the US as the largest economy in purchasing power parity terms and by 2050 India is set to become the third largest economy in the world after China and the US,” said Kelly.

He noted that as these and other Asian markets grow, the demand for ever more sophisticated products in these markets will also grow.

The Asia Trade Forum comprises members of the Irish exporting community who want to share their experience and expertise in order to play their part in helping Irish companies and Ireland to increase trade between Ireland and Asia.

The 2014 programme will involve a series of nationwide seminars on doing business with Asia; business visits to India and Malaysia; and mentoring programmes that are run in conjunction with University College Dublin and the University of Limerick where marketing plans are prepared for Irish companies with potential to expand to Asia.

An agri-food conference and the potential of the Asian and Chinese markets is also scheduled for later this year.

“We are delighted to be working closely with government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and with Enterprise Ireland, and we particularly welcome the recent announcement of new diplomatic missions that will expand representation in Asia to Bangkok, Jakarta and Hong Kong, a very welcome initiative for all of us who are engaged in promoting Ireland abroad,” he said.

Speaking today at Iveagh House, Minister Costello said: “Exports are vital in driving Ireland’s economic recovery. I would like to commend the work of the Irish Exporters Association in supporting Irish businesses to increase exports. The launch today of the IEA Asia Trade Forum 2014 will help develop the two-way trade between Ireland and Asia.

“The Government’s commitment to building relations with Asia is evident in the recent decision to open three new diplomatic missions in the region, in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

“These important new missions will substantially increase our footprint in Asia, and will serve to boost trade, tourism, investment and other links with Ireland.”