British-Irish trade network set up to offset Brexit impact

Service is designed to promote more growth in trade between Ireland and the UK after the referendum vote to leave the EU

The Irish financial services centre in Dublin



The Irish financial services centre in Dublin. Business between the UK and the Republic supports 400,000 jobs.
Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

A new network to link up Irish and British trading partners has been formed to offset any negative Brexit impact on trade between the UK and Ireland.

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce (BICC) has launched the British Irish Gateway for Trade service, which connects firms from either side of the Irish Sea.

Britain remains Ireland’s biggest trading partner, with business between the UK and the Republic supporting 400,000 jobs and generating €60bn, according to the BICC.

Its chairman, John McGrane, said the network would promote more growth in trade between Ireland and the UK in the face of the Brexit challenge.

McGrane said: “At a time when businesses are preparing for Brexit, they appreciate a resource like BIG which helps them to grow their business by being introduced to more customers and suppliers across the UK and Ireland.”

He continued: “2017 will focus all our minds on the importance of the trade between Britain and Ireland which supports over 400,000 jobs. Firms on both sides of the Irish Sea are looking for more trading opportunities and this new service supports the work of Chambers and the various state agencies to make those connections easier to find for businesses north south east and west.”

The new service will be backed up by the resources of BICC and the input of enterprise supporters. The new service, which is free to use for members of trade organisations, is now open for registration at www.bigconnections.org.

BICC is a private sector trade organisation, founded in 2011 to represent businesses and employers with interests in the two islands of Great Britain and Ireland. It says its mission is to highlight, protect and grow trade between Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

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