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InterTradeIreland showcases cross-border business opportunities at Cork networking event

1 Mar 2024

The networking event, which took place on Wednesday 28th February at the Rochestown Park Hotel, brought together stakeholders and businesses from across the island to explore new trade opportunities and to ultimately help businesses find the customers, suppliers and partners they need to succeed and grow.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy opened the event and highlighted the importance of co-operation between Ireland and Northern Ireland, whilst acknowledging the rich heritage of resilience, innovation and ambition embedded in our culture.

Speaking at the event, Colin McCabrey, InterTradeIreland’s Director of Trade said “Cross-border trade is at a record high, with trade in goods and services now worth an estimated £10bn/€12bn and growing fast. For many businesses, the cross-border market is the first step to exporting, acting as a springboard to sell internationally.”

Two Cork-based businesses talked about their success in the Northern Ireland market. Padraig Lynch, CEO at Liscarroll Engineering said “Up until a few years ago we were a single product in a single market. We realised we needed to export to remain competitive. Logistically the Northern Ireland market was an easy option for us.”

The company used support from InterTradeIreland’s Acumen programme to fund a dedicated salesperson to focus on Northern Ireland. “New deals secured in Northern Ireland also raised our profile in the UK dairy industry. InterTradeIreland helps businesses at each stage of their cross-border export journey and have been invaluable to us.”

Frank Fleming, CEO at Verifact, added “InterTradeIreland created the connections that were essential to scale our business. Through partnering with Ulster University as part of the Innovation Boost programme, we’ve been able to identify new sectors we never considered previously which has been a game changer for our software business”.

The networking event coincided with a successful cross-border trade programme being delivered in Cork, hosted by InterTradeIreland. Eight Northern Ireland businesses, including John J Doyle, Nemstar, Brilliant Trails, Mourne Dew Distillery, BlueSky Video Marketing, Leam AGRI, Sustain IQ and Play Services Ireland undertook a two-day visit on February 27-29 to explore new export opportunities in the Ireland market.

Liam McEvoy, Co-founder at Sustain IQ, a Belfast-based software company participated on the cross-border trade development programme and said “There are huge opportunities for our ESG reporting software in Ireland with increased demand in sectors such as construction as a result of legislation including the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Green Public Procurement (GPP).

InterTradeIreland knows the Irish market and has saved us time and money in opening doors for us. They know the products and services in high demand in Ireland so we can confidently act on qualified leads with little risk”.

This year marks InterTradeIreland’s 25th anniversary supporting businesses across the island to grow through trading cross-border, innovating, collaborating, attracting investment and making connections. Find out more about the cross-border opportunities available to businesses on the island of Ireland here.

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