Scotland business

Scottish and Irish companies forge business links

A new business network is being launched to promote trade links between Scotland and Ireland.

The Irish Business Network Scotland features established and new companies tooking to expand.

Among the founder members is Allied Irish Bank, with its particular interest in working with Scottish energy, technology, construction and life science companies.

The move has been welcomed by the Scottish government.

Colm Moloney, founding chairman of the Irish Business Network Scotland, said: "This is about encouraging businesses and entrepreneurs in both Scotland and Ireland to explore the opportunities on the other side of the water.

"We want to create a network that shares ideas and information, creates opportunities for partnerships and collaborations, and taps into the experience of those people and companies that have made a success of broadening their horizons across the Irish Sea."

The initiative has been welcomed by the Scottish government's external affairs minister Fiona Hyslop, with the claim that Scottish exports to Ireland are worth around £1.1bn, while the turnover of Irish busiensses in Scotland is more than £2.5bn, supporting nearly 6,000 jobs.

Paschal Donohoe, Irish minister for public expenditure and reform, is visiting Edinburgh for the launch event on Wednesday, and said the network should help unlock 280 million euros in European Commission funding for collaborations across boundaries, including Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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