14/03/17

Minister Humphreys begins trade and culture mission to Sweden and Denmark

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, is today (Tuesday) beginning a five day trade and culture mission to Sweden and Denmark. The Minister will visit Gothenburg, Stockholm, Uppsala and Copenhagen, where she will carry out a range of cultural, tourism and economic engagements.

Minister Humphreys will meet with members of the Irish community in all four cities, and will address special St Patrick’s Day receptions hosted by the Irish Ambassadors in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Throughout the trip, Minister Humphreys will meet with a range of Irish food companies operating in Sweden and Denmark with the support of Bord Bia.

Fifteen Irish companies working in the automotive sector are travelling to Sweden as part of a trade mission led by Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland has been working since 2015 with a cluster of Irish engineering and ICT companies targeting the automotive sector in Sweden. Minister Humphreys will attend a major Auto Fair in Gothenburg and will meet with senior Volvo executives as well as key Swedish clients and potential partners.

In Stockholm, Minister Humphreys will meet a number of senior Swedish Government officials to discuss Brexit and other issues, including the Minister for Rural Affairs, Sven-Erik Bucht and the President of the City Council. Minister Humphreys will travel to Uppsala University to visit the Celtic Studies Department, where she will present two scholarships to students to visit the Gaeltacht, supported by the Minister’s Department.

In Copenhagen, Minster Humphreys will meet her Danish counterpart, Minister for Culture Mette Bock, where the Minister Humphreys will take the opportunity to discuss the Creative Ireland programme. Minister Humphreys will also meet with the Head of Cultural Relations in Gothenburg City Hall and will visit the Danish Film School.

Tourism Ireland is ‘greening’ two locations during the Minister’s St Patrick’s Day trip; the iconic Bryggebroen Cycle Snake Bridge Snake Cycle Bridge in Copenhagen and the Vasa Ship in Stockholm. The number of tourists from Sweden and Denmark coming to Ireland has increased steadily in recent years, with further growth expected in 2017.

Speaking in advance of the trip Minister Humphreys said:

“Ireland enjoys strong cultural and trade links with both Sweden and Denmark. I look forward to engaging with our agencies on the ground and their client companies who are exploring new opportunities in the Nordic markets.

“The Danish city of Aarhus holds the 2017 designation of European Capital of Culture; a title which will be held by Galway in 2020. I look forward to meeting my Danish counterpart, Mette Bock, to discuss cultural policy, the Irish Government’s Creative Ireland programme and possible areas of future collaboration. The Nordic countries have been very successful in the area of cultural co-operation, and in promoting Nordic culture internationally. This is of particular interest to me in terms of our plans for the Creative Ireland programme.

“I will also take the opportunity to discuss Brexit, the Irish Government’s response to the challenges and opportunities it presents, and the wider European context as part of my engagement with a range of officials, agencies and Irish companies during this five day trip.”

Background Note on Minister Humphreys’ trip:

Enterprise Ireland has been working since 2015 with a cluster of Irish engineering and ICT companies targeting the automotive sector in Sweden. The objectives of this work includes assisting companies better understand the Swedish automotive market, raise the awareness in Sweden of Ireland’s automotive supply capability, and position Irish companies as potential suppliers.

Already supplying many of the world’s OEM’s, including Tesla, Audi, BMW, Land Rover-Jaguar, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, Irish companies are now investing in Sweden, and are seeking partnerships and new business opportunities.

The 15 companies which are travelling to Sweden are:

  • Asavie
  • Athlone Extrusions
  • ATS Applied Tech Systems ltd
  • Bolger Engineering
  • Cubic Telecom
  • CW Applied Technology
  • G&G Engineering Ltd
  • Heyco Werk Ireland
  • HTE Engineering Services Ltd
  • Image Vision Software Ltd
  • Luminosity
  • Mergon International
  • Schivo Group
  • Trend Technologies Mullingar Ltd
  • Taoglas Ltd

Irish Exports to the Nordics, which consists of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, have increased steadily over the past number of years.  In 2015, Irish exports to the Nordics were €613 million. Food exports represented around 43% of this total. Construction Services, Engineering and BPO & Consumer Business Services are the most significant non-food exports to the region.

The Nordics continues to be strategically important markets for tourism to Ireland, and Tourism Ireland run year round marketing campaigns from their Nordic Office in Copenhagen. More than 63,000 visitors from Sweden came to Ireland in 2016 and this number is set to grow in 2017 with new access developments from Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Airlines. 68,000 visitors from Denmark came to Ireland in 2016, an increase of 19% since 2014.

Outline itinerary of Minister Humphreys’ culture and trade mission to Sweden and Denmark:

Tuesday, 14 March: Gothenburg

  • Meet with Deputy Mayor of Gothenburg and Head of cultural relations, City Hall
  • Visit the Irish Automotive exhibition at Volvo Cards HQ Automotive Show
  • Private lunch with Volvo Senior Representatives, including Government Affairs
  • Meet with local Irish community and other local contacts
  • Speak at Enterprise Ireland/Bord Bia dinner with Irish companies & Swedish automotive industry guests

Wednesday, 15 March: Gothenburg and Copenhagen

  • Arrive Lindholmen Science Park for the opening of Day 2 of the Irish Automotive exhibition;
  • Visit to cultural venue
  • Fly to Copenhagen
  • Address St Patrick’s Day reception in North Atlantic House
  • Attend greening of the iconic Bryggebroen Cycle Snake Bridge
  • Attend a business dinner hosted by Ambassador Manahan with senior clients of Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland.

Thursday, 16 March: Copenhagen and Stockholm

  • Bilateral meeting with Ms. Mette Bock Minister for Culture and Ecclesiastical Affairs
  • Visit Danish Film School, Copenhagen
  • Fly to Arlanda
  • Address St Patrick’s Day reception at the Maritime Museum hosted by Ambassador O’Hanrahan with key Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland contacts
  • Meet with Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs, Sven-Erik Bucht
  • Attend Irish promotional dinner hosted by Bord Bia

Friday, 17 March: Stockholm and Uppsala

  • Attend “Greening” of the stern of the Vasa Ship (vasamuseet.se)
  • Meet with Chefs’ Irish Beef Club/Bord Bia and Team Ireland at Ireland House
  • Meet with the President of the City Council, City Hall
  • Lunch at with Uppsala University representatives, including Head of Celtic Studies
  • Meet with senior faculty and students from Celtic Studies Department
  • Meet with Sweden’s Brexit Ambassador, Jan Olsson.

Saturday, 18 March:

  • Attend St Patrick’s Day parade, Stockholm

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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