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EVENT: Ireland Russia Business Breakfast Hears Of Challenge To Irish Government

March 14, 2013

By Limelight Communications

Economist Constantin Gurdgiev criticises current Government thinking; event hears of 19% increase in Irish exports to Russia

A business event co-hosted by Dublin City Council and the Ireland Russia Business Association (IRBA) on Monday, 11th March 2013 heard Enterprise Ireland announce a 19% increase in Irish exports in goods to Russia from 2011 to 2012.  The event heard that the months through November  2012, the export figure from Ireland to Russia was €603million, excluding services.  Peter Finnegan, Director of Economy and International Relations with Dublin City Council commented that a key element of Ireland’s recovery rested with business development into the emerging Russian Market.  Business expansion into and inward investment from Russia had the potential to create significant jobs.  Dublin’s Russian Festival focused on the potential for increasing business with, and attracting investment from, Russia.

Chairman of the IRBA, respected economist and commentator Constantin Gurdgiev provided participants with an insight into the trade dynamics between Ireland and Russia.  He challenged current Irish policy and thinking.  He emphasised the urgent need to establish Ireland’s reputation as a platform for entry by companies from BRIC economies and other emerging and middle income markets into North American and European Markets.  He observed that in his view, too many Russians still think of Ireland as part of England and hold other stereotypes.  He also encouraged Irish business to see Russia as a platform for entry into the Central Asia Marketplace and also into the countries of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).

In a stinging criticism of what he considered the Irish tendency to overstate our advantages, Gurdgiev called on us to ask why we rate lower on many International Indicators than our real competitors such as many other small open economies around the world.  He argued that “National Government needed a more radical approach to “freeing” up the trading climate and start seeing our economy as a whole, with domestic economic policies acting to support external trade and inward investment as a part of holistic approach to development.”

Attended by over 70 Irish and Russian business leaders, the event heard about the practical experiences and the challenges faced Irish businesses looking to export into Russia and Russian companies doing business in Ireland.  Katerina Kostyunina, Business Development Advisor with Enterprise Ireland for High Growth Markets, noted that there are 138 Irish companies actively exporting to Russia, with 23 having a direct presence in the market.

The event was opened by Dublin’s Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Ruairi McGinley who remarked:  “I welcome this opportunity to reinforce the friendship between Russia and Dublin.  We have a vibrant Russian presence in Dublin and I encourage the development of deeper links between our Communities.  Russia is one of the world’s growth economies and Dublin’s co-operation with Moscow helps both cities to expand business.”

This is the fourth Dublin City Festival of Russian Culture.  Dublin City Council and Moscow City Council have a Friendship agreement covering co-operation on economy, international education, research and innovation and culture. The Festival, including performance, film, talks, presentations and exhibitions, concludes on Thursday 14th March.  The full programme of activities can be viewed on www.dublincity.ie/russianfestival.


For further information contact Glenn Hogarty, Limelight Communications, 087 790 9670.

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