Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland have today started a five-day trade and investment visit to Canada and the US covering the cities of Toronto, Montréal, Boston and New York.

Led by Robert Troy, the Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, the trade visit is aimed at boosting trade collaboration and support an accelerated export-led recovery of Irish businesses.

30 Irish companies are taking part in the trade visit, with participants from Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Louth, Monaghan, Tipperary, Waterford and Westmeath.

This is the first in-person trade visit to North America undertaken by Enterprise Ireland since the onset of Covid-19.

Over the last two years, over 150 Enterprise Ireland client companies have set up a new presence on the ground in North America, representing a broad range of sectors including digital technology, healthcare, agritech, cleantech and fintech.

The combined US and Canadian markets represented 18% of total Enterprise Ireland client exports last year, with exports reaching almost €4.5 billion to the North American region.

Minister Troy is due to meet with senior executives from across the finance, healthcare, education, and technology sectors among others during the trade mission. He will also open the new Enterprise Ireland Montréal office.

"Ireland's continued contribution to FDI in both Canada and US, almost €10 billion and $240 billion respectively, highlights the depth of the economic ties we have with both countries," Robert Troy said.

"With nearly 170,000 people employed by Canadian and US companies in Ireland, this further demonstrates the mutually beneficial and vital trade links we have with these major markets," he said.

Tom Cusack, Head of International Sales and Partnering at Enterprise Ireland, said the economic impact of Irish companies on both sides of the Atlantic is significant with Irish companies generating exports reaching almost €4.5 billion and employing over 120,000 people in North America.

"With the official opening of Enterprise Ireland's Montréal office, we recognise Montréal and the wider Québec region as a dynamic, fast growing economy which presents unique opportunities for Irish companies doing business across a range of sectors," he said.

"As a world-leading hub for aerospace, life sciences, artificial intelligence, and finance, Enterprise Ireland looks forward to working with Irish companies to avail of the opportunities in Montréal," he added.

Brian Conroy, IDA Ireland's Regional Director in North America, said the US is the single largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ireland.

He pointed out that 766 US companies employ over 160,000 people directly in Ireland and US corporations account for over 70% of total inward investment employment in Ireland.

Canada, where IDA Ireland opened an office two years ago, is a fast-growing market for IDA, accounting for 51 companies employing 7,000 people.

"As competition for foreign investment is at an all-time high, trade visits like this help IDA to increase awareness of Ireland’s offering. This visit is a welcome opportunity to build relationships with new clients and deepen relationships with the parent companies of our existing clients," he added.