Ireland’s Gaeltacht Areas and Scotland have announced the establishment of dedicated reciprocal trade offices to provide business support services to companies and facilitate investment and trade opportunities.
It follows a visit by a Scottish trade delegation to the Donegal Gaeltacht this week.
Led by West Lothian Chamber of Commerce and facilitated by Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) and Údarás na Gaeltachta, the reciprocal arrangement is the first of its kind for Scotland and the Gaeltacht and will act as a valuable resource for SMEs looking to expand their international B2B partnerships.
The Scottish Government’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee MSP, made the announcement at a major gathering of Scottish and Irish business leaders.
He said “This is an excellent example of private and public sector working together and building meaningful alliances that will make it easier for businesses to build their capacity to trade.
“The establishment of reciprocal trade offices demonstrates the commitment of the Scottish and Irish business communities to expand opportunities for trade and investment and foster great collaboration and cooperation.
“This is an excellent outcome of the three day Business Trade Visit to the Donegal Gaeltacht that I was very pleased to lead and I look forward to supporting this important alliance.”
Commenting on the announcement Irish Government Chief Whip and the Minister of State for the Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne, T.D., said this was a major step forward.
“This announcement is a significant step for Ireland’s Gaeltacht Areas and highlights the national and international influence of the Gaeltacht region and the opportunities that arise from alliances and through cooperation. I would like to acknowledge the work of my colleague, Joe McHugh, T.D., who established strong links with the business sector in Scotland during a trade mission with Údarás na Gaeltachta and representatives from my Department in July 2018.
“The seeds sown on that mission are now showing the first green shoots with today’s announcement. This reciprocal trade office arrangement that is to be established is a vote of confidence for rural Gaeltacht areas which we will continue to support and highlights the benefits that come from providing suitable infrastructure and transport links in rural areas.”
Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive, of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said there are immense opportunities between Ireland’s Gaeltacht Areas and Scotland and the establishment of trade offices in our respective areas is a clear indicator of our ambition and commitment to expand our international business relationships.
“The ‘business touchpoints’ will connect ambitious businesses looking to expand their customer base and identify new trading partnerships. This alliance further extends the opportunity for Scottish businesses to connect internationally and adds to our existing international touchpoints in China, Canada and Indonesia, clearly demonstrating the effective results for business when private and public sector work in collaboration.”
Commenting on the announcement, Micheál Ó hÉanaigh, Chief Executive Office, Údarás na Gaeltachta, said this new alliance facilitated by Údarás na Gaeltachta and Scottish Chambers of Commerce is an important step forward to expand trading opportunities for Irish businesses.
“It will also provide Scottish business a significant chance to establish a presence in Ireland and to explore the new markets and opportunities that it provides.
“The reciprocal arrangement will also be of significant benefit to Gaeltacht companies to have access to information, support and expertise to build their export base in Scottish markets. We look forward to playing an active role in realising the benefits of this Business to Business alliance and capitalising on the economic opportunities for communities in the Gaeltacht region.
“In light of the uncertainties that Brexit is creating for businesses both in Scotland and in Ireland it is hugely encouraging to be able to continue the mutually beneficial partnership that we have forged with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the business community in Scotland.”