Minister Pat Breen leads 30-strong Enterprise Ireland client delegation to Digital Construction Week UK
17th October, 2017
‘UK Construction sector offers opportunities to Irish exporters’, says Minister for Small Business
Pat Breen T.D. Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection travelled to London today (17th October 2017) for a number of Trade-related events including the launch of Enterprise Ireland’s Digital Construction Week UK.
Digital Construction Week is an event series for the entire built environment UK supply-chain including design, construction, engineering, management and operation and is taking place in London.
Speaking at a roundtable meeting with Enterprise Ireland clients and their customers to hear about the opportunities arising in the digital construction sector – Minister Breen said, ‘The general view is that construction exports are under threat, but Digital Construction Week shows that there are also significant opportunities for innovative Irish companies in this rapidly growing segment of the built environment. The UK will continue to be a priority market for Irish construction, and the Government - through Enterprise Ireland - will continue to promote Irish capability in that sector’.
Later today, Minister Breen will address the opening of Digital Construction Week where he will be joined by speaker David Philip, Head of the UK Government’s BIM Working Group.
While in London Minister Breen also met with Ms Margot James MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility and outlined Ireland’s priorities in the context of Brexit in a number of trade related issues including:
- Protecting the Peace process
- No ‘hard border’ with Northern Ireland
- Maintenance of the Common Travel Area
- An effective transitional arrangement leading to the closest possible trading relationship with the UK
- Potential for future trade growth
Minister Breen pointed out that last week’s Budget made further provision for his Department and agencies to recruit new staff to address the challenges of Brexit, including an additional €1.3m for Enterprise Ireland. “Last week’s pro-business Budget saw a record level of multi-annual funding and tax measures to allow us to work effectively with enterprises through the challenges of Brexit. This Government’s focus is on supporting firms to increase their competitiveness, increase their innovation performance and to diversify and grow exports and trade successfully on international markets”.
Enterprise Ireland will showcase six clients and their products and services on the Enterprise Ireland pavilion at the Digital Construction Show where they will encourage potential UK customers to source their ‘Irish Advantage’ in the digital construction sector.
Welcoming the Irish construction companies to the Digital Construction Week event Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland Director UK and Northern Europe said; “The UK is the priority market for Irish construction companies specialising in digital and BIM, even more so since the Brexit referendum. Irish exports of construction products and services to the UK have increased by 68% over the past 5 years to €1.29Bn in 2016. Enterprise Ireland sees further opportunity for growth and has taken the lead on the digital transition agenda in Ireland which has included the formation of the National BIM Council in June 2016”.
Ms Donohoe continued, “Hosting 30 Enterprise Ireland clients at Digital Construction Week UK, Enterprise Ireland’s aim is to showcase the innovative capabilities of Irish companies in the digital sector and market Ireland as a credible supply source of digital products, processes and services”.
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