A new initiative called I-Cham CE has been launched to provide practical on-the-ground support under an integrated chamber umbrella to Irish SMEs targeting exports in central Europe.
Supported by Enterprise Ireland, I-Cham CE will be based at the Irish Exporters Association’s (IEA) offices on Merrion Square in Dublin.
The organisation aims to provide support to Irish SMEs who are entering or exploring the markets of Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Minister for Small Business John Perry TD said the platform created by I-Cham would increase in importance, as the point of European manufacturing continues to move to the centre of Europe and as the countries there move rapidly to the EU average in terms of consumption and investment.
The intended scope of the organisation will complement the work of Enterprise Ireland’s offices in Warsaw and Prague, which cover the EU countries within i-Cham CE’s geographic footprint.
Kenny Morgan, the ICC's chairman and Mike Hogan, Enterprise Ireland's Director for Poland and the Baltic states, were in Dublin for the launch of I-Cham CE.
Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association said at the event: “The Irish Exporters Association is delighted to be the Dublin Hub of i-Cham CE, which will provide support to Irish SMEs and indigenous exporting firms looking to compete in the CE Region and assist Irish companies to develop in a competitive global market. This initiative will not only give confidence to Irish exporters at each stage of their exporting journey but will educate and inform companies around best practice in the region. The launch of i-Cham CE will build on the success of €2,185m in exports in 2013 from Ireland to 11 countries in Central Europe”.