Enterprise Ireland continues to expand its presence in the euro zone with two new office openings in Munich in Germany and Lyon in France this week.

The euro zone is the second largest market for Enterprise Ireland clients and saw exports increase by 8% to €4.8 billion last year.

Enterprise Ireland said the opening of the new offices and additional personnel and investment is a key Brexit response measure to deepen trade opportunities for Irish companies in the euro zone. 

The new Munich office will be officially opened today by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and Bavaria's Vice-Minister Roland Weigert. 

EI said the opening of the new Munich office will support the growth and collaboration of Irish and German companies particularly in the areas of industrial, life sciences, IT and automotive industries which are strong in the region. 

The new office builds on Enterprise Ireland's presence in Dusseldorf since 1962.

Meanwhile, the new Lyon office was officially opened yesterday by the Minister for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Seán Canney.

The new Lyon office will support Irish companies to expand into the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region and particularly in the areas of life sciences, clean technologies and engineering. 

The Enterprise Ireland Paris office was first opened in 1968.

"This week's office openings in Lyon and Munich align with Enterprise Ireland's market diversification strategy which sees the agency significantly expanding our existing overseas office network," commented Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland's chief executive. 

"This strategy aims to support Irish companies in expanding their reach into new markets and to scale their exports into the euro zone in preparation for the post-Brexit era," the CEO added.

Over 600 Enterprise Ireland-supported companies increased their exports to Germany last year to a record €1.1 billion, positioning Germany as Ireland's largest trading partner in the euro zone. 

Meanwhile, more than 500 Irish companies are now doing business in France with exports by Enterprise Ireland supported companies to the French market increasing by 9% last year to over €1 billion.