Business Ireland Cape Town co-hosts business breakfast in Dublin

Business Ireland Cape Town (BICT) recently had the pleasure of co-hosting a business breakfast in Dublin together with the South African Embassy represented by the South African Ambassador to Ireland, Ms Yolisa Maya.    The breakfast was attended by business leaders including Messrs Ivor Queally, Michael Kilduff, Tony Moreland, and Pierce Casey, the CEO of the Dublin Chamber, Ms Mary Rose Burke, the former EU Ambassador, Mr Michael Doyle, and the Ambassador’s spouse, Mr Zandisile Maya.  

Business Ireland Cape Town was represented by the Chairperson, Mr Frank Gormley and fellow board members Mr Liam MacGabhann (former Irish Ambassador to South Africa) and Ms Julie-May Ellingson. 

The theme of the breakfast was “Understanding Ireland and South Africa’s trade opportunities and challenges through building and strengthening business and cultural alliances.”    

The Ambassador gave a warm welcome to guests highlighting the vast opportunities South Africa offers.  Ms Maya spoke of the importance of increasing trade and building partnerships between South African and Irish businesses and organisations.  Ms Maya emphasized that there are already good economic and commercial links between the two countries, with several Irish companies having invested on a large scale and employing approximately 8000 people in South Africa.  In turn, there are also several South African companies with investments in or present in Ireland.  However, the balance of trade remains in Ireland’s favour, with Irish exports into South Africa amounting to €305,5 million in 2020 while Irish imports from South Africa are in the order of €100m.   

Mr Ivor Queally and Mr Michael Kilduff supported the Ambassador’s standpoint on opportunities and challenges.  They outlined some of the difficulties experienced by their companies in South Africa and welcomed the support from the Ambassador’s office and Business Ireland Cape Town in addressing these.     

The Ambassador expressed her appreciation for the breakfast stating “The engagement was very encouraging and reaffirmed my faith in the strength of our SA-Ireland relationship.  The genuine support and goodwill we continue to experience is very heart-warming. I acknowledge that the breakfast was made possible by the generous partnership with BICT, most notably the chairperson Mr Frank Gormley.   Although there are exciting opportunities between our two countries, we are equally faced with challenges in the SA business environment which the government is continuously working hard to address.  I am grateful for BICT’s support and am confident that we will find ways to take these discussions forward to deliver tangible results”.

Mr Frank Gormley thanked the Ambassador for her on-going support of Business Ireland Cape Town and reiterated that BICT would continue to work with the embassy as well as Irish and South African businesses/organizations to strengthen ties between the two countries to mutual benefit. 

BICT will be hosting more events in Dublin later this year. 

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