AN innovative programme has been launched to offer Carlow companies an opportunity to develop business in The Netherlands amid continued uncertainty over Brexit.
Carlow Co Council and Carlow chamber have announced details of the Chamber Trade Connections ‘Export to the Netherlands’ programme. It is designed to help local companies develop new opportunities in the Netherlands as part of a supported trade mission to be hosted from 19-21 November. Each company will be provided with pre-trip support, a dedicated export mentor, facilitated meetings and on-the-ground support for the journey.
Companies have until 6 September to complete the expression of interest stage, from which eight companies will be selected to participate in this highly-subsidised programme.
Speaking about the programme, Kathleen Holohan, chief executive with Carlow Co Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with Carlow chamber to provide this support to Co Carlow SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to develop their export base. Because of the ongoing uncertainties relating to Brexit and the potential implications for Irish exporters, it is essential that Irish SMEs and micro enterprises explore new opportunities.”
Brian O’Farrell, chief executive with Carlow chamber, said The Netherlands had great potential for local businesses. “The Netherlands has consistently been one of the popular export markets for Irish SMEs over the last ten years and with dozens of flights from Dublin, Cork and Belfast every week, Irish exporters can service the needs of Dutch customers quickly, easily and cost-effectively.
“From our work under the Chamber Trade Connections Programme, we believe The Netherlands suits early-stage exporters from Co Carlow who will see the Dutch market as an excellent place to start to explore business opportunities in mainland Europe.”
The programme is coordinated by the local enterprise office and its head of enterprise Kieran Comerford encouraged companies to sign up, saying: “In our experience, exploring European markets not just builds your business network, but also exposes you to new opportunities and innovative ways of working.”