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Official Launch Press Release

May 13, 2009

Ireland Russian Business Association launched on May 12th, 2009.

Press Release

The Ireland Russia Business Association was formally launched Tuesday 12th May, at 3.30pm by the newly appointed Minister for Trade and Commerce, Mr Billy Kelleher TD. Minister Kelleher will lead the Trade Mission to Moscow next week, organised by Enterprise Ireland from the 18th to the 20th May.

His Excellency Mikhail E. Timoshkin, Russian Ambassador to Ireland, also spoke at the event.

In the welcome address by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev, the first Chairman of the Ireland Russia Business Association, he stated:

‘’Russia is a rapidly evolving consumer market and offers significant potential for Irish Companies to introduce new products and form new business alliances .

The potential for construction, energy and engineering services is extensive, but so is the demand and opportunities for food companies and pharmaceutical and medical devices, to export their products.’

He went on to say;

’The hallmark of the new Ireland Russia Business Association will be the high quality networking and bi-lateral trade facilitation the IRBA will offer it’s members ‘’

The Ireland Russia Business Association is a bi-lateral trade association within the IEA group. The Launch of Ireland Russia Business Association is a key step in supporting bi-lateral trade with Europe’s largest emerging market and will be useful to consolidate trade links which will be developed during the Trade Mission to Moscow next week, according to the IEA

Additional Information on the Russian Market and opportunities for Irish business in the market.

Russia is one of the world’s richest markets, and is currently ranked the world’s eleventh largest economy after Canada, and is second only to Germany as Europe’s largest consumer market. In the context of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) emerging market countries, Irish indigenous companies export most to Russia, and the Russian Federation is Ireland’s leading European emerging market. Exports of services in particular are growing rapidly, with service exports more than doubling in 2007 to €1,023m.

Russia has not been immune from the world financial crisis, and the economy will face contraction in 2009, however it remains a country which the majority of Irish business has yet to fully exploit. The fundamentals that underpin the Russian economy remain the same, with Russia retaining the world’s third largest foreign reserves, maintaining a freely convertible currency and periodically it surpasses Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. Russia has the world’s largest natural gas reserves and is a crucial European energy supplier, as well as major supplier of metals and materials.

For Irish companies considering expanding their export footprint, Russia as a large consumer driven export market makes sense, and while it is certainly not a market for everyone, it is an important European market that can’t be ignored. This Trade Mission will allowour clients the opportunity to access the potential or to develop pre-existing client relationships and buyer opportunities.

In sectors such as oil and gas, automobile production, aerospace, pipelines, telecoms and shipbuilding, Russia is using its financial largesse to build up “National Champion” companies to compete on the world economic stage. Russia remains the destination of choice for foreign retailers seeking to participate in Russia’s consumer boom. By any statistical measure, from car sales to the development of coffee house chains, Russia is an economy that is clearly worthy of attention. If you have not been to Russia over the past few years, it is very likely that your impressions and stereotypes of Russia are either outdated or perhaps wrong, and Enterprise Ireland invites you to use the opportunity of this Trade Mission to better understand how Russia can be part of your export strategy.

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