Home > Member Content > Introduction: New Irish Exporters Association CEO, Simon McKeever

Introduction: New Irish Exporters Association CEO, Simon McKeever

December 5, 2013

Dear IRBA Members,

I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce myself to you as the new CEO of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA). The Ireland Russia Business Association is an initiative of the IEA which works on its members’ behalf with Government, the State Agencies and all the key stakeholders involved in Irish Exporting.

I would like to acknowledge and thank my predecessor, John Whelan, for the time and energy he has devoted to the IRBA during the years since the organisation’s foundation, and to wish him well for the future.

As we move into 2014, it is against a backdrop of much uncertainty in the world economy.  Whilst a return to growth seems to be underway in both the UK and USA, the recoveries in these markets remain fragile, and with the Euro remaining stubbornly high against both the US Dollar and Sterling, challenges remain.

Growth in the Eurozone, remains uncertain.  Whilst we welcome the recent cut in ECB interest rates, it would seem that more needs to be done to stimulate demand in this – the largest market for Irish exports.

Our 2013 Export Ireland Survey shows significant momentum, determination and resilience from Irish exporters.  80% of businesses expect exports to increase in 2014, 70% are targeting new markets and 88% are planning to introduce new products and services.

However challenges remain at home.  Competitiveness issues including labour costs and energy costs are of significant concern, and access to finance remains a problem.

We remain committed to helping you to increase your exports, to outlining the opportunities that exist in the high-growth markets, to connecting you both here and abroad through our networks, and to ensuring we work with government and the state agencies to ensure the right frameworks and supports are put in place to support you.

I look forward to working with you and representing you and I wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

With best wishes,

Simon McKeever

CEO

Irish Exporters Association

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