Ireland and the UK will undertake their first ever joint trade mission on Monday (10th February) at the Singapore Airshow, as part of a programme of cooperation to strengthen relations over the next decade led by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
The joint mission is being led by Ireland’s Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, UK Transport Minister Stephen Hammond and Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster with support from UK Trade & Investment, Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.
The Singapore Airshow is Asia’s largest airshow, and one of the most important in the world, given that the Asia Pacific region is the world’s biggest air travel market. For both Ireland and the UK the aerospace sector is a key part of their long term economic plan.
The UK remains Ireland's largest export destination with 16% of Ireland's total industrial exports in 2011. Ireland is the 5th largest recipient of UK industrial exports with almost 6% of the total in 2011.
Stephen Hammond said:
“The UK and Ireland both have open and globalised economies and we share a commitment to boosting growth as the cornerstone of economic recovery and job creation.
“The UK aerospace sector is a global success story. Half of the world’s commercial aircraft fly on wings made in the UK, and every 2.5 seconds an aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce engines takes off or lands somewhere in the world. This week’s trade mission will encourage greater collaboration and partnership between UK and Irish aerospace companies strengthening our offer to international buyers.”
Richard Bruton said:
“This joint mission is an important part of a wider programme of cooperation between Ireland and the UK.
“The aerospace industry is one of Ireland’s most valuable and technically advanced industries. Today, Ireland is recognised as a leading location for aviation, MRO, technology, engineering and aviation finance.
“This first joint mission has attracted an impressive list of companies from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK that will demonstrate our considerable combined strengths in the aerospace sector at Asia’s largest air show.”
Arlene Foster said:
“I am delighted to be leading a group of Northern Ireland aerospace companies in this first visit to Singapore Air Show and welcome the opportunity to promote the world class capabilities of Northern Ireland aerospace, which is one of the premier aerospace regions in Europe.
“In Northern Ireland, aerospace generates revenues in excess of £1 billion and employs over 8,000 highly qualified staff.
“There are approximately 50 companies active in the sector with core strengths in precision engineering; supplying critical components and services to all of the major aerospace programmes in the world. This contributes to ensuring the UK remains Europe’s number one aerospace manufacturer and second only to the US globally.”
Enterprise Ireland and UKTI's shared exhibition stand will be jointly branded and set up as a working lounge and business-to-business meeting space for use by delegates on the joint mission.