On behalf of the Asia Trade Forum Council and Members, I would like to welcome you to the Forum’s
website. I hope that you will feel welcome to become involved, attend our events and support our
efforts to grow Ireland’s two-way trade with Asia.
I was honoured to be elected Chairman of the Forum at the end of 2012, taking over from Colin
Lawlor, now President of the Irish Exporters Association. I am one of the two, current Vice Presidents
of the IEA and CEO of Associated Marketing Ltd., an export acceleration company that was
established in 1970 and operates in emerging markets in the Asia.
In 2011, the Asia Trade Forum (ATF) launched its current 5-year strategy. We all know the economic
situation in which Ireland finds itself. It is serious but we will pull out of it. Exports have a critical role
to play in this and, in particular, exports to the emerging and fast growing markets in Asia.
The ATF comprises members of the Irish exporting community who want to share their experience
and expertise, to play their part in helping Irish companies and Ireland to increase trade between
Ireland and Asia. We work closely with government and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and
with Enterprise Ireland, one of our sponsors, to deliver this important objective. We also work closely
with the bi-lateral trade associations such as the Ireland Malaysia Association and Ireland India
THE ASIA TRADE FORUM’S VISION is for Ireland to emerge as one of Asia’s preferred trading partners for
EU trade. We want to celebrate and build on the albeit modest increase in Irish trade with China in
2012 but one that was achieved even while EU trade with China dropped by 3%. Ultimately, we want
Irish exports to Asia to increase from 4% to 8-10% of Ireland’s total exports in the period 2011-16.
To do that:
(a) We need to help Irish businesses to get to know Asia better and for Asia to get to know
(b) We need to connect successful practitioners to inspire and assist others to realise their
potential in these markets, and
(c) We need to highlight the obstacles to Asian trade growth and work closely with
government to remove them.
During 2013, we will again hold a series of events and we will run Business Visits to at least 2 Asian
markets. Please click on the Events tab on this page for further details of these activities. We will also
again support the Masters in International Business Programme in UCD and we are delighted to be
launching a similar mentoring initiative with the University of Limerick towards the end of the year.
Our programme would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and I would like to
• Enterprise Ireland
• Etihad Airways, a multi-year winner of the World’s Leading Airline Award
• Euler Hermes, the world’s leading credit insurer with local offices in 11 countries in Asia.
• FCM Travel Solutions whose awards include Asia Pacific’s Leading Travel Management
• Grant Thornton who have offices throughout the world and across Asia.
• Ulster Bank, who have offices throughout Asia and are ardent supporters of Ireland-Asia
• William Fry, champions of the Ireland-India Business Association as well as the ATF.
I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Export Trade Council, John Whelan (CEO, Irish
Exporters Association), the voluntary work of our Forum Council Members, the staff of the Irish
Exporters Association and, in particular, Ashley Beston as executive manager of the Asia Trade
Further information on our strategy is available at: Asia Trade Forum traded policy strategy document "Trading with the Asia Pacific Region 2011 – 2015"
Asia Trade Forum