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Group hails rise in exports

Scots-Irish network helping to boost trade

Scottish and Irish business organisations are hopeful of government funding to give a further push to a fledgling initiative that is helping build trade between the two nations.

More than 100 representatives from the construction, renewables, creative, professional services and the food & drink sectors gathered last night at Edinburgh City Chambers to mark the first anniversary of the not-for-profit Irish Business Network Scotland (IBNS).

Also in attendance were the Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Joe McHugh, Mark Hanniffy, Consul General of Ireland in Scotland, John Webster, Head of the Scottish Government Innovation and Investment Hub in Dublin and Councillor Gavin Barrie, of Edinburgh City Council.

IBNS was launched at Edinburgh Castle in June last year to explore commercial opportunities and over 12 months exports by both countries have grown. 

The Scottish Government estimates that Scottish companies exported goods and services worth £1.01 billion to Ireland in 2015, making Ireland Scotland’s seventh-largest export market.

There was talk last night of government funding to help support the group and put it on a firmer footing.

Speaking about the past year, IBNS chairman Colm Moloney (right) said: “The Irish Business Network Scotland now represents an established and effective group of business leaders, making IBNS the first stop for any Irish or Scottish business looking at export opportunities in both markets.

“The Network represents a group of key decision makers that facilitates an easy and accessible route to market – it is essentially a business development network that is highly effective.

“With Brexit on the horizon, we must work harder than ever to keep the collaboration and business links between our two countries alive. There has never been a better time to join IBNS, and the 1000 or so people who have attended our 13 events pay testament to this.”

Mr Moloney is managing Director of Rubicon Heritage Services and Rubicon Heritage Services UK with offices in Edinburgh, Cork, Dublin, London, Cardiff and Tewkesbury.

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