Fingal County Council complete successful trade mission to China

Fingal County Council complete successful trade mission to China

Fingal County Council delegation includes four Local Enterprise Office clients at the 2018 Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Last weekend, four knowledge economy start-ups supported by the Fingal Local Enterprise Office, joined 42 other delegations from cities across the globe at the Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair (GIEF) which took place from the 17th to the 20th of May 2018. The fair is a major business event in China that features an Exhibition, 3 Trade Fairs, 7 Forums & Summits and 2 Road Shows and Competitions. The three-day event was attended by 600 participants from 30 countries, including government leaders, world-renowned scientists, academics, diplomats, entrepreneurs and investors. 

Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Mary McCamley was invited to participate along with Fingal Chief Executive Paul Reid, as guests of the Chengdu Municipal government. Other delegates included Oisín Geoghegan Head of Enterprise in Fingal, Cllr. Kieran Dennison Chair of the Economic and Enterprise Strategic Policy Committee in Fingal, and Trevor Holmes of DCU’s international relations department.

The Fingal businesses that benefited from the event included finalists from this year’s Fingal Enterprise Awards competition: Alan Hickey (WeBringg), Graham McCarthy (MiasPharma), Roman Grogan (DropChef) and Alex Duller (Relodata). The fair offered these Fingal entrepreneurs the opportunity to network and build international business links, with a view towards growing their export potential, both in China and in other countries represented at the fair. Each have established valuable trade links and were thankful of the opportunity to participate. WeBringg is in the process of establishing a sister company in Australia and is also now looking to Asia and North America for future expansion plans. MIAS Pharma held meetings with Pharma companies in China and established valuable contacts with other delegations. Dropchef and Relodata used the opportunity to build contacts with like minded businesses and other delegations from across the globe.

Each of the businesses were hosted and had an opportunity to address the Deputy Mayor of Chengdu, the fourth largest city in China with a population exceeding 16 million.

Of the 42 delegations, Fingal was one of just six regions attending the event which were selected to deliver keynote speeches to delegates, alongside Sydney, Nuremburg, Toronto, Haifa and Nottingham. Fingal’s speech was delivered jointly by Mayor Mary McCamley and Paul Reid, and it focused on the theme of opportunities and challenges for the development of new economy. In addition to affording the County the opportunity to showcase itself for foreign investment, it also allowed for the consolidation of Fingal’s already strong ties with Chengdu.

The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Mary McCamley highlighted the value and importance of cultivating high level international relations: “The world is a small place and there are so many opportunities for us in Fingal to build our international profile as a great place to live, to work and to do business”.

Fingal Chief Executive Paul Reid agreed, saying: “There is enormous value in building and growing our international relations in Asia. We have achieved a fantastic result in selling Fingal as a modern, innovative and enterprising region not only to the municipal government in Chengdu but also to the 600 high ranking officials from 42 regions and cities across the globe”.

Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Fingal said: “The trade mission to Chengdu was hugely successful. It offered a great opportunity for some of our leading technology and knowledge economy start-ups in Fingal to gain very valuable contacts and to explore global commercial opportunities. I was delighted with how well our delegation was received. Fingal punched well above its weight at the event and of all of the 42 regions represented at the event, from across the world, there is no doubt that Fingal attracted the greatest level of interest. For instance, one of the spinoff benefits was the level of interest among many delegates who enquired about the tourism sector in Fingal”.