Kieran Duff of MERC Partners joined leaders from the Irish and UK business communities at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on 9 June 2015 to ceremonially open the day’s market trading, as Ireland INC hosted its third annual Ireland Day.
The theme of Ireland Day 2015 was ‘Growth 2020: Embracing Challenge-Maximising Opportunity’, and discussions focused on increasing economic ties between Ireland and the UK, increasing finance to SMEs and the importance of Britain’s membership of the European Union.
Speaking ahead of the market open at London Stock Exchange, president of Ireland INC Ian Hyland said the annual Ireland Day is vital in terms of progressing the unique economic relationship between Britain and Ireland.
“Today’s summit builds on the outstanding achievements following the historic visit to the UK of President Michael D. Higgins last year, and Queen Elizabeth’s State visit to Ireland in 2011. The presence of both nations’ ambassadors at this morning’s market opening also exemplifies the strength of ties between the two countries in trading and cultural terms.”
Irish companies represent important business to the London stock market with more than 50 Irish companies listed on the Official List and the Alternative Investment Market. Equally, Ireland has a special economic relationship with the UK, which accounts for 40% of the exports of Irish-owned companies.
The economic link between Ireland and the UK is further illustrated by the fact that there are some 55,000 Irish directors of British companies, and two-way trade between Ireland and the UK amounts to more than €1bn each week. In addition, the Dublin to London route is the second busiest international air route in the world.
Speaking at London Stock Exchange, the British ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Dominick Chilcott and the Irish ambassador to Britain, H.E. Dan Mulhall both spoke about Ireland and the UK’s strong alliance and how to progress this partnership further.