Press Release: Published July 2012
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mr. Richard Bruton T.D today [Sunday] announced a number of significant sales contracts by Enterprise Ireland client companies responding to opportunities in the French agricultural technology sector. The announcement was made during the Enterprise Ireland trade mission to France led by Minister Bruton, and confirms the significant potential for Irish companies to increase the scale of exports with existing and new local partners in this key market.
Irish companies Dromone, Samco and Dairymaster have all signed significant contracts to a total value of €12.9m with French partners. The announcement of these contracts confirms the depth of capability Irish companies have to offer in the agri-technology sector.
Making the announcement Minister Bruton said:
‘I am delighted to announce €12.9m in new business in France for these three companies. Central to the Government’s plan for jobs and growth is creating a powerful engine of indigenous business, and today’s announcement shows what is possible for innovative exporting companies operating in growth sectors. These are significant contract wins for ambitious outward-focused Irish firms and clearly demonstrate Ireland’s international reputation as a source of high quality products in the agri-technology sector. Through continued implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs I am determined to ensure that we can replicate these wins and help create the jobs we need’.
Minister Bruton outlined details of the contracts as follows:
Dromone, based in Oldcastle, Co Meath, is a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of safety critical coupling technology for the agriculture and construction markets. The company has secured a €9.7 million contract with France’s largest exporter of agricultural products, AGCO Group based in Beauvais, France; Limerick based Samco, the agricultural manufacturing company, signed their first contract with a French coop Cavac to the value of €220,000, to be a sole distributor of Samco machines and degradable plastic film for the Vendée region in West France; And Tralee, Co Kerry company, Dairymaster, signed an exclusive contract with Genes Diffusion. The initial sales will deliver €3 million and the collaboration will allow Dairymaster to now deliver world class dairy equipment with the industry’s best fertility management system.
During the trade mission Minister Bruton will also attend the Sustainable Agriculture Forum in Brittany, organised by Enterprise Ireland. This major event demonstrates the importance of the French market for the agricultural industry in Ireland and will be attended by a number of Irish companies showcasing the latest innovations in smart farming technology including Keenan, Tanco, C&F Green Energy and Monford Ag Systems.
Enterprise Ireland’s CEO Frank Ryan who is accompanying Minister Bruton on the mission added: ‘France is the 3rd largest export market for Irish-owned SMEs and with an impressive 14% growth rate in 2011 it presents significant opportunities for increased trade and partnerships between Irish and French companies. Approximately 60% of these Irish companies are focused on the agri-food industry, especially agricultural machinery and technology. This trade mission is about building on that success and supporting Irish companies to win more business and thereby increase exports, which will directly sustain and create jobs in Ireland’.
About the trade mission:
The multi-sector trade mission, organised by Enterprise Ireland, includes best-in-class Irish companies from the ICT, Engineering, Cleantech, Agricultural Machinery, Construction Services and internationally traded service sectors. The mission will enable these companies to explore the French market and develop contacts with potential French partners and buyers.
Minister Bruton’s schedule during the visit includes a series of meetings across the Brittany and Paris regions with leading French companies and their Irish partners, visits to a number of innovative sites to demonstrate the strength and depth of Franco-Irish business relationships, and events to promote Irish exporters in key sectors: agri-technologies, cleantech, engineering and construction. This intensive schedule reflects the importance which the Government attaches to Ireland’s economic and trade relationship with France.
This is the ninth major trade/investment mission the Minister has travelled on since taking office, following:
Four IDA investment missions, two to the USA east coast, one to the west coast and one encompassing the East Coast, South and Mid-West
Two Enterprise Ireland trade missions, one to Saudi Arabia and India, one to the south-eastern USA, accompanied by a total of 80 Irish companies looking to break into new export markets
A 7-day joint IDA/EI mission to China led by the Taoiseach
A Saint Patrick’s Day trip to the west coast of the USA, which included several meetings with IDA and EI target and client companies
France is the fifth largest economy in the world. Its industrial sector represents around 19% of GDP and its strongest manufacturing sectors are motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment and aerospace (civil and military). Manufacturing accounts for around three-quarters of total exports of goods and services. Agriculture’s share of economic activity has fallen sharply in recent decades, although it remains higher than many other western countries at 2.1% of GDP. Reducing oil dependence has been a long term priority; to that end France is now second largest producer of nuclear generated power in the world (although as part of his election campaign President Hollande pledged to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear energy from its current level of 85% of needs to 50% by the year 2025).
France is Ireland’s 5th largest market for merchandise and 4th largest market for services. Ireland exported €4,559 m worth of goods in 2010 and €5109m worth of services bringing the total value of Irish exports to France to €9.6 billion. 2011 saw a further 10% growth in the value of goods exported to France, to €5,022 million. The balance of trade, structurally positive, is almost 2:1 in Ireland’s favour. The total amount of bilateral trade in 2010 was €14.8 bn (9591m + 5196m). Major exports to France include pharmaceuticals, food and computer software. Notwithstanding the economic challenges facing the Eurozone and France’s reduced growth projections, more and more Irish companies are seeking to do business in France.