The Asia Matters Summit took place in Letterkenny on October 2nd and 3rd and was an  amazing opportunity for businesses across all sectors in the North West City Region to find a valuable and effective route to market in Asia.

Asia Matters was founded over a decade ago by the late Dr. T. P. Hardiman, Alan Dukes and Martin Murray, and is considered Ireland’s Centre of Excellence for Asia Business Knowledge and Partnerships.

Co-Founder and current Executive Director at Asia Matters, Martin Murray, elaborates on the purpose of Asia Matters “The focus is on building dynamic business links and informed understanding between Asia, EU and Ireland in order to drive win-win partnerships and economic growth”.

Having spent more than twenty years working in Economic Growth and Business Development globally, Martin could see the emerging importance of the Asia market and economy and the opportunities it presented “I realized that the world is a global village and if this village consisted of 100 people., 66 people would be Asian, 10 European and 5 American. Upon return to Ireland after five years working in Japan, I saw a need to develop a strong business network between Asia and Ireland to complement the existing networks we have with the US, UK and Europe.”

The importance of trading opportunities in Asia are highlighted by Martin “Ireland’s two-way trade with Asia has increased to €76 billion over the last decade. Ireland is on course to break a €100 billion trade target with Asia by 2025. Within these figures, you have standout stories such as trade with Japan in 2021 being worth €18 billion. For India this was €9 billion. Food, Pharma and Tech make up about 50% of Ireland’s exports to Asia, illustrating part of the reason for the expected rise to €100 billion in 2-3 years.”

Martin details the potential for the region “Historically, Irish companies have looked towards Europe and the United States to improve overseas sales but the massive Asian market can’t be ignored. There are plenty of significant opportunities for expansion in Asia and this summit will showcase the strengths of the region and the globally best in class product and service offerings.”

The North West City Region showcases the world class quality of talent, knowledge, innovation, and opportunities for collaboration found throughout. Martin elaborates on the significant areas for potential “The region includes best in class companies servicing global markets from TCS providing management solutions in Letterkenny, to Irish Pressings providing precision tool engineering to the auto industry from the Donegal Gaeltacht. Talent is a key driver of knowledge solutions and the future talent pipeline from Atlantic Technological University and Ulster University augurs well for the region to embrace future business trends with potential to become a knowledge hub for RegTech.”