Sunday, June 01, 2008

Irish Trade Missions and Manufacturing Good News

Given the apparent success of Irish trade missions, we should surely have lots more of them in these difficult times.

Until recently, we had the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin, dishing out superlatives at "signing ceremonies" for business deals that appeared to materialise when the former Cork schoolteacher dropped off at some foreign outpost.

Well that is what the great unwashed believed at home and who would blame them when the media accepted the spin without question.

This past week, it has been reported that an Enterprise Ireland backed trade mission to Latin America has seen Irish firms secure a total of €9.1 million in contracts.

Participating businesses secured €3.6 million in the latter half of the week in Mexico, having already scooped up €5.5 million worth of deals in Brazil.

Businesses from all over Ireland were reported to have enjoyed success on the trade mission. Galway group Fintrax opened a new office in Mexico and announced its selection by the Mexican Tax Authorities to implement a nationwide value-added tax refund programme for tourists.
It's a fair bet that none of the business deals that were announced had anything to do with the trade mission to Brazil and Mexico.

A trade mission needs to have "good news" and the press releases are already prepared before the leading minister leaves Dublin.

So Enterprise Ireland compiles details on past business and then the minister claims bragging rights for the spin or spoof "good news."