Top tips for doing business in Ireland

With so many similarities between the UK and Ireland, most of the etiquette used in business meetings and transactions remains the same.

But it is worth taking the following into consideration in order to smooth the path to a successful deal:
  1. Enterprise Europe NetworkThe Irish are great believers in ‘the craic’, which is, in a nutshell, good conversation, news and gossip. So be prepared to do some talking – and listening – in order to establish a rapport with your prospective trade partner.
  2. It might be considered bad manners to turn up late for a business meeting in the UK, but in Ireland five or 10 minutes behind schedule is acceptable, so don’t get uptight if your host is tardy.
  3. Business isn’t always conducted around a meeting table. Discussions are often continued or concluded over a drink or two down at the local pub.
  4. Shake hands, but be prepared to be on first name terms by the end of the meeting. Formalities are often abandoned fairly quickly.
  5. Use your common sense when it comes to discussing politics. This is not usually a good idea at a first meeting, but once you know your host they’ll be happy to talk to you about the news of the day.

Key sectors and companies in Ireland

Cork - strong pharmaceutical, biomed, customer service and ICT sectors: EMC, Boston Scientific, Pfizer, Lilly, GSK, Apple, IBM.

Dublin - strong ICT, cloud computing, financial services and digital media sectors: Google, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, BNY Mellon, Citigroup.

Waterford - strong pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors: Coca-Cola, GSK, Genzyme, MSD, Bausch+Lomb.

Galway - strong medical and biomedical sectors: Medtronic, Covidien, Merit Medical, Hewlett Packard, Avaya, Nortel, Cisco, SAP, EA, Fidelity.