DUBLIN, IRELAND and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - This week, Enterprise Ireland [EI] will stage a series of business events across the US to celebrate Ireland's unique relationship with its largest trading partner. EI is the government organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. Ireland's new Prime Minister [An Taoiseach], Enda Kenny will attend select EI events in Washington D.C. Last year, the commercial links between both nations were especially tight. In spite of challenging economic conditions, Irish exports to the US grew by 12 percent. Companies in the medical device, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors dominated the export line-up. Life sciences, financial services, enterprise software and clean-tech companies also showed particular strength.

The trading relationship goes both ways. Today, 227 Ireland-based companies employ nearly 82,000 Americans across all States, making the country a leading investor in the US. The greatest concentration can be found in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Furthermore, Irish companies continue to grow their market presence by acquiring US entities. For instance, last year, in a move that expanded its clean-tech footprint, PM Group, Ireland's largest engineering, architecture and project management firm, acquired Silicon Valley's Greene Engineers. Also in Silicon Valley, Galway-based Creganna, a medical device company acquired Tactx Medical. At the same time, the company bought a manufacturing facility in Minneapolis.

EI's Chairman, Hugh Cooney noted, "The strong export figures and ongoing investment by Irish companies in the US confirm that a robust recovery is underway in Ireland. Once again, the US was the top destination for Irish goods and services last year. For many Irish companies, 2010 marked their first foray into the US market. Others continue to close sizable deals with major US customers. We intend to maintain the growth trajectory through sustained R&D investments that catalyze dynamic new export-oriented Irish companies. And we'll continue to champion the exceptional collaboration between industry, academia and government agencies that has long fast-tracked innovative Irish products from incubation to global markets."

This week's EI-supported events include the following in Washington, D.C.: A luncheon for business leaders on Wed. with a keynote address by Prime Minister Enda Kenny. The Prime Minister will also attend a St. Patrick's Day reception on Thurs.; A roundtable discussion on Thurs. for companies providing e-learning technologies and services to US customers. The featured speaker is Elliott Masie, head of the MASIE Center, a prominent NY-based learning lab and think tank. Also in D.C. on Wed., Ireland-based livestock nutrition technology leader, Richard Keenan & Company will host a summit on feed conversion efficiency for leaders in the agriculture and food sectors.

In New York on Wed., in collaboration with EI, Bank of America Merrill Lynch will host a Technology Innovation Forum for Irish technology companies in the financial services sector. Other events include a series of study-in-Ireland college fairs in Chicago, Dallas, Houston and New York showcasing Ireland's universities. They aim to increase the number of US students who choose to pursue an undergraduate degree in Ireland.

To learn more about Enterprise Ireland, please visit www.enterprise-ireland.com.

Contact Information:

Media Contact
Jane Evans-Ryan
Genuity PR for Enterprise Ireland