Report on Value of Economic Relationship between UK and Ireland Welcomed

Jul 18, 2013

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Chambers Ireland have today (18/07/13) welcomed the findings of a joint study, commissioned by the Irish and British Governments, on the value of the economic relationship between the two islands.

Speaking this afternoon in a joint statement British Irish Chamber of Commerce CEO, Steve Aiken, said “This report articulates clearly the extent of our growing €1 billion a week economic space; a figure set to grow considerably if the recommendations within the report are enacted.  Developments described in the energy, agribusiness, SME, manufacturing, services, education, construction, tourism and ICT sectors will boost business confidence, opportunity, promote investment and create jobs.”

Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive continued, “Enormous trading flows already exist between our two economies. We warmly welcome this report which will give very clear focus on sectors where we can significantly increase those trade flows to our mutual benefit in economic wellbeing and jobs. We look forward to a clear understanding from both Governments on the next steps they propose to progress the opportunities identified.”

Going into further detail, Mr. Aiken added “The Chamber welcomes the emphasis placed on these sectors within this report and would echo the recommendations made on food chain security, joint marketing and promotion in the agribusiness sector where we compliment each other, the potential boost to our construction industry by sharing information on major infrastructure projects, the sharing of knowledge on funding for our hard pressed, but highly innovative SME sectors and creating greater links between our Universities in research clusters that will aid R&D to all of our industries.

In particular we are looking forward to assisting the Governments as they work toward the development of a single ‘all islands’ energy strategy which will harmonise governance and institutional arrangements across the islands to include market operation and regulation. We believe that energy exported into the British market should qualify for purchase by any National Purchase Agency set up in the UK to acquire renewable electricity generated by independent generators.

In addition, to help facilitate these improvements in trade, we would also like to help promote the recognizing of professional qualifications in all of our jurisdictions, especially in the construction sector, harmonizing food regulation to help build our combined markets and to strive to help reduce the high cost of travel and transport of goods between these islands, in particular reducing or getting rid of APD completely.  We also warmly welcome the proposed visa waiver initiative, indeed, this will considerably increase the attractiveness of these islands for tourism and more importantly, to investors from vital markets in Asia. 

The Chamber is looking forward to working in partnership with our Governments over the coming months and years to deliver real benefit to all our communities and to help to continue to foster our already close economic relations.”

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For further information contact Amy Woods, Chambers Ireland on 01 400 4319, 086 6081605 or email

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