Business and banking connect France and Ireland
The list of companies from both France and Ireland contributing to this strong bond of friendship is indeed a comprehensive one and becoming even more so.
Banking and Finance
Without efficient banking and financial services, innovative business ideas would flounder before reaching fruition. In terms of Irish-French relations, BNP-Paribas, Bank of Ireland and varied investment funds have provided the kind of gilt-edge support and understanding, the corporate and entrepreneurial world requires and deserves.
Aside from French and Irish companies and banks who have helped build business bridges between the two countries, state agencies have also contributed greatly. In Ireland, these have included economic development agency, Enterprise Ireland, and Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board) which strongly support Irish exporters to the French market.
Simple statistics speak for themselves. France is Ireland’s third largest supplier, while Ireland is the seventh most important supplier to France. Around 20 billion euro worth of trade take place between the two countries.
Travel and Transport
Since Brexit, there has been a rapid increase in ferry crossings between Ireland and France and it is hoped that the number of flights between the two countries will return to its pre-pandemic level when Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Transavia served 10-plus airports in France with nationwide access to France from Dublin.
Education and Culture
Both Ireland and France strongly support arts, cultural and education exchanges, with the Erasmus programme being a prime example. In a special column in Ireland’s leading national newspaper, The Irish Times, Minister Le Drian wrote, “The cultural ties uniting France and Ireland are very close: French is the first foreign language taught in Ireland, and France the leading destination for Irish Erasmus+ students. As for the French, they make up by far the largest contingent of European students in Ireland…In the footsteps of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats, many Irish writers have found inspiration in Paris. I would like us to further extend our academic cooperation by strengthening the partnerships between French and Irish universities.”
Union of French and Irish People
And let us not forget, the mutual interest in each other’s national history and heritage is such that the expat community of both countries remains strong and active. An estimated 20,000 Irish people now live in France and around the same number of French nationals live in Ireland.
Information Communications Technology (ICT)
Ireland has become the global technology hub of choice when it comes to attracting the strategic business activities of ICT companies. This has earned Ireland the reputation for being the heart of ICT in Europe. The industry employs over 37,000 people and generates €35 billion in exports annually.
A true global technology hub, Ireland is home to the headquarters of eight of the world’s top ten software companies. The strength of the country’s tech industry enables the development of a world-class flow of talent and startups.
Dublin has become what some call ‘a European Silicone Valley’ with the presence of major multi-national companies such as HP, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and LinkedIn, making Ireland a leader in the Top 10. Global Innovation Index.
The specific areas of Technology where Ireland is strong are cyber-security, big data and cloud computing, software development and financial services and medical.
The top five global software companies are in Ireland, as are the top three global enterprise software companies and four of the top five IT services companies.
Ireland’s reputation as a centre of Software excellence is unrivalled in Europe. It is home to over 900 Software companies, including both multinational and indigenous firms, employing 24,000 people and generating €16 billion of exports annually. The sector’s wide-ranging activities include Software Development, R&D, Business Services and EMEA/International headquarters.
Increased investment by the Irish government in R&D in both industry and third-level institutions has seen the establishment of world-class software research centres to offer state-of-the-art capability and resources.
Ireland’s Life Sciences sector has grown rapidly from modest beginnings in the 1960s to reach global significance. Collaborative clusters in Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Diagnostics have been a key element behind this remarkable growth in a sector that accounts for 39% of national exports (c. €62 bn, CSO 2020). Ireland is now the third largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally (UN International Trade StatisticsIreland’s Life Sciences sector has grown rapidly from modest beginnings in the 1960s to reach global significance. Collaborative clusters in Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Diagnostics have been a key element behind this remarkable growth in a sector that accounts for 39% of national exports (c. €62 bn, CSO 2020). Ireland is now the third largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally (UN International Trade Statistics Database).
The sector continues to develop and evolve, more recently Ireland has expanded its global hub beyond commercialisation to include innovation, digitalisation and next generation technologies.).
Circa €2 billion invested in Biopharma R&D by IDA client companies annually with an additional €1Billion in Cap Ex added each year.
Firms located in Ireland provide Financial Services to every major economy in the world. International banks, investment managers, insurers, aircraft leasing operators and an array of other financial firms employ over 42,000 people and contribute €2.3bn each year in taxes.
While Dublin acts as the main hub, the Financial Services sector has many operations spread throughout Ireland from Letterkenny to Cork, Galway to Kilkenny and Limerick to Waterford.
Ireland is one of Europe’s largest MedTech hotspots and, as a globally recognised centre of excellence, is home to 300+ companies, employing over 40.000 people, 14 of the world’s top 15 companies have operations here. Ireland also employs the highest number of MedTech personnel per capita in Europe.
Ireland’s MedTech sector has become one of the leading clusters for medical device products globally. Exports of Med Tech products represent 8% of Ireland’s total merchandise exports. Ireland supplies 97 of the world’s top 100 countries (ranked by GDP), for 13 billion euro worth of exports a year.
Over 200 overseas companies in the industrial technology sector employ more than 23,000 people generating €4.7 billion in exports annually. Sectorial growth over the last decade is seeing the expansion of operations to serve EMEA markets. The uptake of disruptive Industry 4.0 technology is being driven across the industry sector through government supported initiatives. Principle industry sectors include Automotive, Aerospace, Chemicals and Advanced Materials, Industrial Automation and Engineering Services.
The Interconnected Cyber Security Landscape in Ireland comprises Cyber Ireland, the national cyber security cluster, Government, Academia, Industry, Research and State Agencies including IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and SFI.
Six of the top 10 cybersecurity software companies are located in Ireland while Ireland has the highest level of STEM graduates per capita in EU. Around 5,000 additional people were trained in cyber security by 2021 through major Skillnet cyber skills initiative.
The manufacture of food and drink is Ireland’s most important indigenous industry.
Ireland’s Agri-Food companies employ over 163,000 people and Irish food and drink exports are worth over 10.b billion euro and go to 175 different global markets, annually.
Ireland continues to attract international companies from sectors such as dairy, prepared consumer foods, beverages, fish and seafood and pet food and animal nutrition. Many of the companies undertake comprehensive research and development activities.