The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in close collaboration with the Ministry of State and the Luxembourg Embassy in Dublin, successfully organised an official trade mission to Dublin from June 12-14. This highly anticipated visit marked a significant milestone, as it was the first official mission to Ireland.
The delegation, comprised of 37 representatives from 32 Luxembourg companies, was led by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Minister of Finance Yuriko Backes. Steering the commercial delegation was Cindy Tereba, Director International Affairs of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. The e-brochure of entire delegation is available any time here.
The trade mission, commencing on June 13, featured two parallel sectoral visits that provided unique opportunities to explore areas of mutual interest between Luxembourg and Ireland. The first group, accompanied by Minister Yuriko Backes, focused on the maritime and logistics sectors. This visit included a comprehensive presentation on the Port of Dublin, offering valuable insights into its operations and strategy, as well as its significance as a key trade hub, especially since Brexit. Participants also had the privilege of embarking on a boat tour, gaining a firsthand perspective of the port's infrastructure and operations. As a special highlight, the delegation had the exclusive opportunity to visit a RoRo Vessel, operated by the Luxembourgish company CLdN, further deepening their understanding of the maritime and logistics collaboration between the two countries. Luxembourg-based company Jan de Nul will begin dredging activities in the Port of Dublin in the coming weeks, cementing the strong business ties between the two countries in the maritime sector.
Simultaneously, the second group had the privilege of visiting Dogpatch Labs, a renowned incubator for startups and entrepreneurs and a vibrant hub for digital innovation in Ireland. Participants had the opportunity to witness firsthand the innovative projects and cutting-edge technologies being developed within this dynamic ecosystem. The visit was made even more special as it was attended by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, highlighting the significance of digital innovation in driving economic growth and resilience. The delegation continued their exploration with a visit to the captivating Irish Immigration Museum EPIC, an immersive and technology-driven experience further highlighting the vibrant digital landscape of the capital.
To bring the two groups together and to bridge the two sectors, a lunch was held onboard the MV Cill Airne, a floating restaurant docked in the Silicon Docks area known for its concentration of tech companies, providing a unique and memorable setting for networking and further strengthening relationships.
In the afternoon, the trade mission participants gathered at the Herbert Park Hotel in Dublin to attend the Ireland-Luxembourg Business Forum. The forum was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Dara Calleary TD, Irish Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital & Company Regulation. The event kicked off with an insightful overview of the economies of Ireland and Luxembourg, paving the way for dynamic panel discussions that delved into industry-specific topics.
During dedicated sectoral roundtable sessions, the forum concentrated on the Maritime & Logistics and Digital Economy sectors, aiming to leverage the 30th anniversary of the European Single Market. The forum's agenda aligned perfectly with the areas of expertise of the Luxembourg business delegation, ensuring highly relevant and insightful exchanges.
The maritime and logistics seminar focused on navigating new trade realities, the future of shipping, the Windsor agreement, and the green transition if the sector. Fabrice Maire, Chairman of the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster and the European Network of Maritime Clusters opened the seminar before giving the floor to experts such as Derek Dunne, Managing Director of Manifests Ireland Ltd.; Alistair Eagles, Managing Director of Seatruck Ferries; Cesare d'Api, Group Technical Director at d’Amico Shipping Group; Annemarie Smith, Principal Officer, Road Transport & Freight Policy Division, Department of Transport; and Kevin Nash, COO, Wallenborn. In parallel, a panel on digital economies led by Luxinnovation addressed a wide array of subjects from AI, cyber, digital adoption all the way to education. Similarly to the maritime seminar, panelist from both Ireland and Luxembourg gave the audience insights on digital collaborations between two countries: Stefan Uygur, CEO, 4Securitas; Casius Morea, CEO, EmailTree; Dermot Doyle, CEO, Dynaccurate; Peter Sodermans, Director Global Government Relations, Gcore; Danilo D'Aversa, General Manager, Gulliver; John O’Neill, CEO & Co-Founder, Hub360; and Chris Fogarty, Hubs Manager, Merits.ie.
The trade mission concluded on a high note with a Luxembourgish reception, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Luxembourg Embassy in Dublin and celebrating the inaugural Luxembourg National Day reception. Her Excellency Ms Florence Ensch, Ambassador of Luxembourg to Ireland, warmly welcomed a large number of Irish and Luxemburgish business representatives, further reinforcing the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
The successful trade mission showcased Luxembourg's thriving business landscape, facilitated fruitful collaborations, and fostered a deeper understanding of the Irish market. It served as a testament to the strong economic ties between Luxembourg and Ireland and laid the foundation for future mutually beneficial endeavors.