Neil Cooney

Market Watch – A view from Canada

Market Watch Canada Neil Cooney

Key Takeaways

• The public health response to Covid-19 in Canada was well informed by previously having dealt with the challenges caused by an outbreak of SARS in the early 2000s.
• There were some challenges, and the Canadian government has been swift and efficient in offering support to businesses and citizens across the country.
• Canada, like many jurisdictions, is seeing a resurgence of cases and borders are currently closed to mainstream traffic.
• Remote working has seen many industries pivot to a new way of doing business.
• Many sectors are moving apace and there is opportunity for Irish companies.

Along with almost every country in the world, Canada has felt the effects of the pandemic, but Neil Cooney, Enterprise Ireland Country Manager Canada, says while a second wave is also taking its toll, there are some positive signs of growth.

“The challenges of Covid-19 are significant and as a result, the Canadian government has committed extraordinary support to citizens and businesses during 2020 as economic activity is considered to be approximately 5% below February levels,” he says. “However the economy has seen four straight months of growth, as restrictions have been modified to support more of the economy coming back online.”

“Of course, like many other jurisdictions, Canada is seeing a resurgence of cases, particularly in its main metropolitan areas – and borders are currently closed for most travellers. So those doing business need to look carefully at the limited set of exceptions which may apply (for critical infrastructure or in healthcare) – while most workers in government, banking, technology and professional services sectors continue to work from home.”

Aside from the challenges of not being able to visit the market, meet customers and attend trade events, Cooney says another effect of Covid-19 has been that some pending projects were paused as companies reacted to the uncertainty, but this is beginning to change.

“We have seen projects reignite in recent months as business priorities have shifted from crisis management or remote working challenges to an acceleration in digitalization and providing better experiences for customers and employees,” he says.

“Pivoting to virtual has been an area of opportunity for many of the leading trade events and while they vary in format and cost, these events have reduced the barriers for Irish companies interested in learning more about trends and opportunities in Canada – which has always been challenging to do on a coast to coast basis as it is the world’s second largest country.”

The move to remote working and distributed teams has pushed businesses to openly consider solutions from providers, which they will engage with online from start to finish.
And according to Cooney, the manufacturing sector and supply chains generally have done well in overcoming the hurdles posed by the current global crisis.

“Like many markets, the challenges of Covid-19 have accelerated change in many areas with companies and industries adopting new technologies,” he says. “This has represented an opportunity for Irish companies which offer innovative solutions in areas such as cybersecurity, remote working enablement and digital health.

“And Canada recently announced investment of 10 billion (CAD) in infrastructure projects -through the Canadian Investment Bank – in energy, agricultural irrigation, connectivity, zero-emission buses, early construction works and buildings’ energy efficiency.”

He says with the impact of the crisis on the energy sector, there has been an opportunity to focus investment on environmental mitigation of orphan wells, developing renewable energy and charting a cleaner, more efficient energy future.

And the construction sector has continued its buoyant level of activity with an increasing focus on modular housing deployment and environmentally superior building technologies currently in demand.

“In addition, Canada has continued to invest significantly in its public infrastructure, including a recent announcement supporting broadband provision– which at $1.75 billion represents the largest one-time federal investment in broadband.”

Home to several world class clusters including the world’s third largest aerospace hub in Montreal, Canada is North America’s second largest financial services and technology cluster, leading capability in Artificial Intelligence technologies, and has a burgeoning technology sector.

Toronto has the highest cluster of AI start-ups in the world and Montréal boasts the highest density of researchers and students of deep learning in the world. This has highlighted an opportunity for EI Canada to join the conversation with focus on Irish AI capable clients.

But while virtual meetings have made it easier for companies outside Canada to explore new commercial relationships, there are certain factors which need to be considered.

“Companies approaching the market often have to think region by region in sourcing distribution, identifying partners, winning customers and setting-up beachhead sales operations,” says Cooney. “And while doing this in-person has always been a challenge given the scale of the territory, the current reliance on virtual meetings has created more of a ‘level playing field’ for companies outside Canada exploring new commercial relationships.

“But it is officially a bilingual country which means many products and services must offer English and French to participate in procurement or Request for Proposal processes. To this end, Enterprise Ireland has recently opened an office in Montreal to assist Irish companies in doing business in the region.

“And while Canada is often seen as an excellent proving ground and valuable reference site for the wider North America market, it is crucial to display knowledge and responsiveness to the distinct needs of Canadian customers, local regulatory requirements and differences in business practice – something which definitely applies to the complex, multi-stakeholder buying processes we see in the Healthcare and Telco sectors.”

However, the country manager says that Canadians prefer to work with companies which already have an established presence in the market.

“Demonstrating local presence can be an important way to gain trust and to reassure potential customers of the availability of your on-going support,” he says. “Canada is a welcoming country when it comes to entrepreneurs, investors, and talent, including from Ireland, and is as a result attracting significant business to tech hubs such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. And during Covid-19, this may mean establishing a virtual presence and hiring locally in-market – which is readily possible given the ease of set-up in Canada.”

To learn more about the steps companies can take to address the impact of Covid-19 visit our business supports page.

Webinars – Brexit Customs Briefing Series

As the Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020, Irish businesses trading with the UK will need to operate in a new business environment.

To assist Irish companies with their final preparations, Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the Local Enterprise Offices will host a series of webinar briefings to advise on logistics, freight, customs clearance and the critical steps needed to avoid trading disruption on Jan 1st.

Register Below:

Evolve UK – Ready for Brexit: Meeting UK customer expectations

The Evolve UK webinar series highlights the opportunities for Irish companies interested in doing business with the UK.

This webinar discuss how businesses are tackling customer communication and customer care during continued Brexit uncertainty with insights from:

Robert Rowlette, General Manager of Archway Products

Alan Croghan, Financial Director of EasyFix

Evolve UK: Establishing a UK presence

The Evolve UK webinar series highlights the opportunities for Irish companies interested in doing business with the UK.

This webinar examines how the establishment of a UK presence demonstrates long-term commitment to the market, providing customers and partners on the ground with the reassurance that your business is accessible at all times.

Hosted by Enterprise Ireland’s UK Manager, Deirdre McPartlin with insights from Gerry Collins, ECOVIS.

Evolve UK – New UK importing rules with HMRC – Establishing a UK presence webinar


The Evolve UK webinar series highlights the opportunities for Irish companies interested in doing business with the UK.

This webinar examines the upcoming rule changes to importing into the UK with insights from

– Deirdre McPartlin, UK Manager at Enterprise Ireland

– Margaret Whitby, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at BPDG

– Claire Wilson, Stakeholder Engagement at HMRC Customs and Borders unit

– Ruth Potter, Partner at Ecovis

– Gerry Collins, Managing Partner at Ecovis

Access key insights from sectoral experts with the Evolve UK webinar series.

Brexit and Intellectual Property – Webinar

The UK’s decision to leave the EU will impact many aspects of business including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Our webinar explained the effects of Brexit on the different types of IPR, and discussed practical answers to questions like:

  • Will my existing IP rights be sufficient after Brexit?

  • What changes might I need to make to my IP portfolio?

  • Do my licence and distributor agreements cover the relevant territories?

  • If I am importing or exporting goods, have the IP rights contained in the goods been exhausted in the relevant territory?

  • Will my custom notifications still apply in the UK and EU?

Hosted by national broadcaster and journalist – Jonathan Healy with insights from:

  • Peter MacLachlan and Cherrie Stewart of MacLachlan & Donaldson

  • Joe Doyle, Intellectual Property Manager in Enterprise Ireland

  • Emer O’Byrne of Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit Unit.

Watch here 

Hannah Fraser Nordics

Market Watch – Nordics

“The Nordics is renowned for being one of the most progressive, open, and innovative regions in the world. Made up of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland, it has not traditionally been the first choice for Irish exporters, but nonetheless the region presents opportunity for companies looking to expand their business internationally.

Over the last five years exports to the Nordics from Enterprise Ireland clients have grown 35% and there are now over 450 exporters to these markets. And despite Covid,  despite Covid, Hannah Fraser, Director Nordics Region, says opportunity exist for companies which bring innovation and something different to market.

The region is culturally and geographically close to Ireland and companies here are open to innovation and international partnerships. While negotiations often taken some time, once you secure a client, Nordic customers are committed, reliable and willing to pay a good price for solutions they can see value in.

In addition, Sweden, Norway and Denmark are in the top five countries for non-native English speakers, so language isn’t a barrier like other European markets – all of this adds up to a region which is lucrative and easy to do business in.

However, there is no denying that the pandemic has caused a lot of disruption to industry across the globe and in every sector – and the Nordic region is no different.

The response has differed country to country and while it remains to be seen how these measures will impact the economy in the long run, the Nordic economies were some of the strongest globally at the start of 2020 and look, so far, to be more resilient and set to recover faster than many of their European neighbours.

In the most recent figures, Sweden reported a GDP fall of 8.6% and Denmark of 7.4% during Q2. Norway’s GDP is estimated to have fallen around 7.1% between the months of March to May, while Finland, which undertook some of the stricter measures in the Nordics, reported a GDP fall of only 3.2%.

Irish companies working in the region have been affected in some ways. Travel restrictions, in particular, have proven challenging for staff travelling in and out of the region and also hindered Irish companies’ ability to meet customers, or potential customers, in person, which has affected the pipeline of new business for this year and into 2021.

But these issues are being addressed as firms have ramped up their digital presence to connect with customers in new ways and are now working more closely with local partners and suppliers. In addition, the supply chain across the Nordics is operational and the major construction sites, which many Irish companies are working on, have remained open throughout and business is now moving well in many areas.

Ultimately, the Nordics is a region of huge diversity and opportunities for companies differ from country to country and sector by sector. Well-established opportunities exist for Irish Engineering and Hi-Tech Construction companies, particularly around the construction and fit-out of the hyperscale data centres being built across the region.

There are also some emerging opportunities in areas like Fintech, Lifesciences, Telecoms and Energy and Irish firms have started to capitalise on these. In addition to this, one of the major themes for Nordic companies is around sustainability and building sustainable businesses.

Indeed the region has been at the forefront of sustainability for years and is considered to have some of the most ambitious climate action plans in the world – and this is an area in which Ireland can really learn from. Companies of all sizes here have a focus on building sustainable companies and integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into their business models.

This commitment to sustainability drives market demand for Irish products and services which in turn delivers solutions and innovation to areas such as renewable energy, electrification and energy efficiency.

There are a number of Irish companies which have successfully secured contracts in the Nordics in recent months including Mainline Power, CXIndex, Cambrist and XOcean – so the future does look bright for the region. Our team at Enterprise Ireland are on hand to support Irish companies to continue to grow and win business here.”

Get key insights on the supports available from Enterprise Ireland.

David Eccles Regional Director Australia and New Zealand

Market Watch – Australia and New Zealand


•  Australia and New Zealand have amongst the lowest cases of Covid-19 in the world
•  There have been some second wave cases and local lockdowns
•  Most businesses still working remotely where possible
•  Australia is experiencing its first recession in three decades and the New Zealand economy has also been affected, but plans have been put in      place to mitigate this.
•  Government stimuli put into effect in March will begin to be phased out over the coming months.
•  There are business opportunities for Irish companies in the MedTech and Lifesciences sectors.

Nowhere has been left unscathed by the global pandemic but Australia and New Zealand have been fortunate to have some of the lowest case numbers in the world. However, regional Enterprise Ireland manager, David Eccles, says while the two countries have managed to escape the worst of the infections, there is still a note of caution about the future.

“Australia is 75th on W.H.O data table of cases and New Zealand is 153rd, but we are not out of the woods yet with some second wave cases across both countries,” he says. “Both countries have closed their borders to all except for citizens, residents and immediate family members and 14-day quarantine measures are strictly enforced.

“Australians had been slowly emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns since May but a recent second wave has seen the State of Victoria in stage 4 restrictions while the other seven States and Territories have lighter restrictions and there are some border closures between States, with each being in a very different position.

“And in New Zealand, which was COVID free for over 100 days, a recent wave had seen Auckland go into lockdown and Level 3 restrictions, but this week they have returned to Level 2 restrictions with the rest of the country. So, most companies are continuing to work remotely and enforce social distancing where possible.”

But while the cases of Covid-19 were noticeably less in the region, Eccles says economies in both countries have been affected.

“Australia is now experiencing its first recession in nearly 30 years, thanks to the economic fallout from coronavirus, bushfires and drought,” he says. “And the New Zealand economy is poised to contract severely for the first time in over a decade this year – again due to the coronavirus.

“In addition, they both also boast large tourism, hospitality, and education industries, and these have been severely impacted by the near elimination of international travel. But in other areas, business activity remains robust with construction and financial services leading the way.”

The area manager says Australian and New Zealand Governments invested in numerous cash-stimulus measures for business since March, but these will be withdrawn across three phases from September 2020 to March 2021.

And the Australian government has increased the instant asset write off from $30k to $150k for businesses making capital expenditures and this has given a boost to some Irish companies.

However he says, while there have certainly been an array of challenges and opportunities for exporters to the region, Irish companies have shown remarkable resilience and adaptability in the face of these challenges. And the Antipodean market is no exception.

“We have found multiple opportunities for Enterprise Ireland clients, as all sectors increase their digital transformation,” said Eccles. “In fact, some clients have brought forward their entry into our markets due to demand, particularly across digital health, EduTech and FinTech. And in MedTech and Lifesciences, Irish companies have scaled rapidly to meet new demand for product and have accelerated their market entry here.

“The most impactful of the COVID factors to our clients is the border closures and the cessation of international travel. The borders to international travellers will definitely not reopen this year but exemptions are possible, while very difficult to achieve.

“Interestingly, a key challenge for our clients in the past has been making the decision about when to invest in a local presence and the time and cost involved in flying to the region for important meetings – but with everyone now meeting virtually, this removes that pressure.”

Since March when the lockdown began, 20 Enterprise Ireland clients have established a presence in Australia and New Zealand, including WayFlyer, Vizor, Swoop and MagGrow and over 50 new contracts were won by Irish enterprises across Australia and New Zealand.

“This is as clear a sign as you can hope for, to show that Australia and New Zealand are still open for business, still the gateway into the wider AsiaPac region,” says Eccles. “And Irish companies are showing the strength, determination, adaptability and resilience to win business 17,000 kilometres from home.

“We, Enterprise Ireland Australia / New Zealand, have started new ideas and initiatives to try and help clients during the current situation. We have started a mentoring programme ‘Scale Up, Down Under’ with six companies taking part in a 6-month programme to accelerate their entry into market.

We have also run a series of sector specific Advisory Panels across Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand, giving a range of Irish companies the opportunity to present their product to sector experts and often senior Irish diaspora in the market to seek guidance and advice.
“So there is light on the horizon for both companies doing business here currently and those planning their market entry.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Irish innovation and its application in the Australian market can visit

Get key insights on the supports available from Enterprise Ireland.

Graduate Stories – Delivering results with internal communications and employee engagement

Ennae O’Connor is in first year with the National Graduate Programme, working in the Organisational Development department.

During my Business and Management course in Maynooth, I completed an internship in Enterprise Ireland working in the High Potential Start-Ups division. This gave me real exposure into the type of work that Enterprise Ireland does – its culture, its people and so on – and so I knew from then that the graduate programme was something I was really interested in pursuing. I could see what an important role Enterprise Ireland has both within Ireland and overseas for Irish companies.

At Enterprise Ireland, our purpose statement is supporting Irish enterprises to start, innovate and succeed globally but the line that really resonates the most with me is “driving prosperity throughout Ireland”. Witnessing that impact first-hand is something that really inspired me during my internship and made me want to come back. 

“Enterprise Ireland is very fast-paced; you’re taking on real responsibilities and making a real impact for businesses.” Ennae O’Connor, National Graduate Programme participant.


Applying for the Graduate Programme

The application process can be intensive and I’d really recommend doing your homework. Look at the Enterprise Ireland corporate website, their social media and their values as a company. Be prepared ahead of each round, leverage any relevant experience you may have, no matter how big or small – education, internships, personal interests – anything that demonstrates your competencies. Reach out to the graduates on the current programme – I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help out and share any advice they have. Keep positive and confident throughout – it is a long process but it’s definitely worth it.


Every day is different!

My role is a little different from other graduate roles as it’s internally focused rather than client-facing. I absolutely adore it. My department is organisational development and I’m involved in internal communications and employee engagement. During my internship I was very client-focused, dealing with entrepreneurs and companies, but in my final year in college I became very interested in organisational development – and that translated into me getting involved in this area. It’s completely different from the client-facing roles, but I think the whole area of internal communications is really interesting.

The primary focus of my role is to keep employees connected and informed, creating a shared understanding of Enterprise Ireland’s purpose and values and keeping colleagues updated on company decisions, initiatives, programmes and executive messages. No two days are the same. We have over 40 international offices, as well as regional offices, so my day-to-day role is creating editorial content and executing wellbeing programs and campaigns to promote our company values.

As an example of the typical work I would do, yesterday I was putting together our virtual Pride Parade; today I was preparing a presentation to present to our Executive Director. There’s a lot of creative thinking. Over the last four weeks my main focus has been coordinating our global wellness challenge – similar to a step challenge, we had 44 teams competing to maximise their daily activity. I was giving weekly updates, the highly anticipated Leader Board reveal and sharing photos and videos of the teams getting active. The challenge coincided with our Pride Run, which saw our colleagues all across the world Rock the Rainbow and run, walk or jog 5k to celebrate inclusion and diversity of LGBTQ+ people and their families.

“It’s important to know that there are positions available for graduates in all sectors and all departments, from finance to marketing to our client-facing roles.  says O’Connor.

There are so many opportunities to get involved and develop your business, project-management, relationship-building and networking skills. You’re not expected to know everything when you come in, but you need to be energetic and enthusiastic and passionate about delivering results.


To learn how Enterprise Ireland’s Graduate Programme can help you take the next step in your career visit National ProgrammeInternational Programme.

Graduate Stories – The opportunity to be part of a professional & dynamic team

Currently in year two with Enterprise Ireland’s National Graduate Programme, Stephen McLoughlin describes his experience of working across the Brexit division and Covid-19 response unit.

Coming from a background in political science, I always had an interest in doing something related to government but I didn’t want to be a civil servant. Enterprise Ireland is unique in that you’re engaging with the private sector, so you’re at the cusp of where the public and the private sector meets – and that really appealed to me because you see both sides and you feel like you’re flying the Irish flag for Irish companies and really making an impact.


Applying for the Graduate Programme

I became interested in Enterprise Ireland after talking to some executives at the open day in the Helix while studying for a Masters in DCU in Business Management. The application process is very intense – if you’re in college, you have to set that time aside to apply for graduate programmes because they do take a lot of time to complete. It’s important to do your homework and I’d highly recommend attending the recruitment days so you can meet previous graduates working in the organisations and get an insight into their roles.

The assessment centre part of the application process is tough. It’s worth putting the time into researching what happens in an assessment centre and how it works – there are some valuable insights to learn, such as not being the most dominant person in the room, allowing everyone their chance to speak and using your limited time effectively. The experience does give you an insight into what the role entails and the challenges that it brings.

After the assessment centre, there’s an interview, and a lot of preparation should go into this, especially if you haven’t done much work in competency-based interviews. Look into what skillsets you have that would align with the type of competencies Enterprise Ireland  is looking for. All the information is there online so it’s just a matter of putting the time in to research. The interview is intense but it’s a chance to demonstrate what sort of person you are and what you can bring to the role.

About ten of us commenced the programme in August 2019. We were trained with the international grads, and it was a great chance to meet everyone and begin to network – which is central to our roles.


Working on the Brexit response

I was assigned to the Brexit unit – as I had studied political science in my primary degree, this was a dream for me. The Brexit Zone had a dedicated space at International Markets Week in 2019, so I was really thrown into the deep end from the very start – which was a really great experience as I think I met three or four government ministers in my second week and it gave me a huge insight into the advisory piece provided to client companies regarding the challenges posed by Brexit.

“The role gave me the opportunity to develop and enhance my skills as a communicator.” says Stephen McLoughlin

Networking takes a bit of work to master, specifically how to make the most of a conversation and optimise the time you have with a client or a buyer. It’s the professional world and everyone just wants to get the work done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

We had a lot of Brexit events, so in my first couple of weeks I was able to meet a lot of people all around the country in sectors that might be affected by Brexit. Internal networking is really important too. It’s a really big organisation and you’ll struggle during the first few weeks to meet everyone but they really encourage you to get up from your desk and get involved in projects or events – sports, charity fundraisers and so on.

My role changed dramatically in 2020 when most of the Brexit team became part of the Covid-19 response team. What was really interesting is that our Brexit insights prepared us for this, as a lot of the products and services put into place to help companies during Brexit had parallels with those developed to help clients through the Covid crisis. Advising businesses where to go for support through government agencies has been a big challenge and tough at times but it’s meaningful, practical work that really makes a difference.

If you are interested in joining the Enterprise Ireland Graduate Programmes, check your eligibility here: National ProgrammeInternational Programme.

Global Ambition – Industry Insights webinar series

Enterprise Ireland will host a series of Global Ambition – Industry Insights sector focused webinars for clients, to deliver market intelligence on the evolving international export opportunities across global markets. The five sector market webinars will focus on:

  • Construction – 15th September, 9:30am – 10:45am

  • Lifesciences – 15th September, 2pm – 3pm

  • Travel Tech – 16th September, 3pm – 4pm

  • Agritech – 17th September, 11am – 12pm

  • Consumer Retail – 17th September, 2pm – 3pm


This webinar series will draw on Enterprise Ireland’s unique insight into key markets for Irish exporters lead by the Market Advisor in that sector and will explore crucial issues such as relationship strategies and the shift in consumer behaviour in the context of Covid-19.

You can register using this link. You can register for multiple webinars and all registrants will receive a copy of the webinar recording and slides.

Market Watch – South East Asia


• Many countries in South East Asia have made a successful return to business
• Travel restrictions had posed problems for businesses selling into the region, but goods are moving again.
• Critical supply chain companies are ramping up production and capacity to meet increasing demand
• Opportunities are continuing to arise, particularly in Digital technologies, Life Sciences, Telehealth, and Industrial sectors
• Life is beginning to return to normal.

Every industry across the world has been impacted by the effects of Covid-19. But while there is undoubtedly still a long way to go, business is beginning to return to some sort of normality and Kevin Ryan, Director of ASEAN, says much of South East Asia has made a cautious, but successful return.

“Business is definitely getting back to some semblance of normality, but things are a little different,” says Ryan. “In Singapore, we are now in Phase 2 of the ‘Circuit-Breaker’ measures and most businesses are now allowed to return to office environments. But the message remains consistent and to work from home where possible.

“Politically there is a history of stability and longevity here with governments making long-term plans which are carried on by successive ruling parties and this is very beneficial to the economy of the region.”

With experience of the SARS epidemic in 2002-2004, the governments of SE Asia have been methodical in their management of the Covid outbreak and this has proved crucial in the successful reopening of business.

“During the phased approach, the return to work was carefully managed,” says Ryan. “And around the region, key markets are opening up and demonstrating strong ownership in managing business and movement of goods.”

So with the effects of Covid shaping how people work and interact, the ASEAN director says strong sectoral opportunities have emerged.

“The Future of Work and the Digital Workplace is a very interesting development and client companies see big potential across the Asia market,” he says. “Here you have huge centres of populations, with Banks, Insurers and Tech companies all requiring teams to work remotely and embrace innovative solutions.

“From the Life Sciences sector, there is significant interest and demand for services which offer innovative solutions to help eliminate the effects of Covid. And the crisis has shown how reliable technology can be and has forced governments to take a fresh look at implementing digital health solutions in their regions.

“Consumer Retail is also playing out strongly with the likes of Water Wipes and Pestle & Mortar being two good examples of clients gaining traction in Asia.”

But most businesses, regardless of sector, are focused on saving cost, generating additional ancillary revenue streams and using technology to help prevent Covid in the workplace.

“Businesses are very keen to understand how technology can help them combat the pandemic and keep staff safe,” says Ryan. “We’ve had strong engagement with companies who see the value proposition, most notably with the likes of Novaerus who have a proven air and surface disinfection device. While companies such as Combilift have proven capabilities in an industrial space, helping to eliminate waste and enabling companies think more efficiently.

“Our clients are constantly looking at new ways to offer unique solutions to companies, which are now struggling with their traditional business model. And we are seeing success and increased interest in companies such as Good Travel Software (GTS), which allows OEM car manufacturers and car companies opportunities to tap into additional ancillary revenue streams they wouldn’t have considered before.”

But one of the real strengths of Enterprise Ireland is its network overseas.

“We are the gatekeepers making sure clients are ready to make the leap,” says Ryan. “We also work with them to break down any barriers – geographically and culturally.

“So on a positive note, we’re definitely seeing greater availability and access. Prospective buyers in the region are realising that unless they open their minds and are willing to think innovatively, they will face the prospect of losing opportunities to their competitors, and in this climate that could prove fatal. Irish companies have a long history of being innovative and entrepreneurial and business in Asia is very responsive to this.”

The SE Asia region encompasses 10 countries with a population of circa. 650m people and Ryan says the market is very much open with he and his team engaging regularly with client companies to support a successful entry into the region.

“Ireland, in comparison to some parts of Asia, is small, and our team works extremely hard on selling a consistent Irish message,” he says. “We have strong success in opening doors and creating opportunities and our reputation across the globe is superb with Ireland’s expertise in Asia shining through from the perspective of innovation and quality.

“So there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re encouraging clients who have a product ready to go, to engage in Asia as we are laying the groundwork for opportunities to be realised in 2021 and beyond.”

Get key insights on the supports available from Enterprise Ireland.