India-Ireland Relations: Minister Coveney’s week-long visit forges stronger economic ties, and boosts growth for education, aviation, and fintech sectors

India, 20th March, 2024- The Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, recently concluded a seven-day trade and investment visit to India and Bangladesh. The visit was organised by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s trade and innovation agency, and Ireland’s FDI agency, IDA Ireland, in collaboration with the Irish Embassy. The trade visit, which included visits to Bangalore, New Delhi, and Mumbai, and concluded in Dhaka, aimed to strengthen economic ties between Ireland and India, while highlighting the potential for increased collaboration between both nations in various sectors, including education, aviation, and fintech.

Throughout the visit, Minister Coveney engaged with leaders from a wide range of Indian organizations, spanning a range of sectors and industries, emphasising Ireland’s dedication to nurturing partnerships which fuel innovation and growth. The Irish delegation’s itinerary included meetings with senior representatives from prominent Indian IT Services, Financial Services, and Aviation companies, underscoring the mutual interest in exploring avenues for further future collaboration and investment.

Reflecting on the importance and success of the trade visit, Minister Coveney remarked, “India is a dynamic and huge growth market, there are very few economies in the world that are growing at the pace we saw and learned about in recent days. Ireland’s innovation pipeline is in increased demand by global business leaders, including some of those that we met here in India, so this visit has been extremely encouraging and we think the opportunities for Irish Indian partnership are very significant, and we look forward to growing and fostering these relations between our two countries.”

Enterprise Ireland has had a presence in India since 2006 and works to support Irish companies to enter and scale within the Indian market, bringing investment and high value jobs. A delegation of Enterprise Ireland-supported fintech companies, including Fundrecs, Transfermate, Market XLS and Druid Software, met with industry leaders in the financial and ICT sector during the visit and spoke about the niche products and solutions offered by their companies, which meet technological demands within the Indian market.

In New Delhi, six Ireland-based aviation sector companies including Botany Weaving, InFlight Dublin, Aero Inspection and Eirtech Aviation, participated in a roundtable discussion, which also involved India’s leading airlines and numerous stakeholders and thought leaders from across the industry. The group learned about the existing and future opportunities there, underpinned by the rapid growth in the Indian aircraft fleet in the soon-to-be world’s third largest aviation market.

Additionally, the visit highlighted the robust educational ties between Ireland and India, with Minister Coveney meeting with representatives from Indian universities and education policymakers. The exponential growth in the number of Indian students choosing Ireland as their study destination over the past decade underscores the appeal of Ireland’s world-class education system and diverse environment. In recent days it was announced that Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) signed a partnership with the India’s high profile National Institute of Design (NID).

Jennifer Melia, Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland, emphasised the significance of the trade visit, stating, “India is a dynamic and rapidly growing market, and through our engagements over the last week we have learned about the untold opportunities that exist for increased collaboration and trade between our two countries. Irish innovators are delivering solutions and products which solve global challenges, including here in India where there is a growing presence of Irish-owned companies. During this trade and investment visit, we had the opportunity to meet and engage with leaders from significant and impressive Indian companies, and we learned about the commonalities between our two countries and how Irish innovations are in demand. As the trade visit draws to a close, we look forward to supporting Irish companies to explore new opportunities in this growing and diverse market and to building even stronger ties.”

The delegation also supported the opening of a new Honorary Consulate in Bangladesh, which has undergone rapid economic development in recent years. Irish engineering and machinery companies, including Combilift, Pearson Milking Technology and Archway Products, participated in this leg of the trade visit and see a promising future in the market there.

This successful and important visit to India and Bangladesh by the Irish delegation, led by Minister Coveney, marks a significant step forward in fostering stronger ties, and the mutual growth opportunities explored are expected to yield substantial benefits for both regions in the years to come.