Irish Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD stopped off in Lochwinnoch during a recent two day trade mission to Scotland.
Mr McHugh was finding out more about the work Irish engineering company Coffey Construction Ltd has been doing for Renfrewshire Council during his visit which was designed to forge closer business links between the two countries.
Coffey won the contract to demolish the existing bridge and build a new one over the Black Cart Water in the Renfrewshire village.
During the visit the Minister attended several events to raise the profile of Ireland as a country embracing the use of energy efficient technologies in design, construction and engineering processes.
Casting his eye over the bridge project Minister McHugh said:
‘I was delighted meet with industry leaders from both Scotland and Ireland over during the course of this visit and to see first hand projects like this one in Renfrewshire where the two countries are working hand in hand to deliver first class infrastructure. I am committed to continuing to explore new ways in which we can strengthen the existing trading relationship for the benefit of both economies.
‘This Enterprise Ireland trade visit has provided an important opportunity to position Ireland as a partner that can contribute, collaborate and share in the benefits of innovation in the water and waste water industry and energy efficiency markets. It also provides a platform to emphasise Ireland’s commitment to our economic relationship with Scotland in the context of Brexit and how Enterprise Ireland is working with Irish companies to support the drive for innovation in the UK in clean technology.’
Enterprise Ireland is the government’s economic development agency dedicated to developing and growing Irish companies in world markets. Scotland is currently Ireland’s eighth biggest export market worth nearly £1 billion annually and trade between the two countries is estimated to grow by 17% this year.
During his visit Minister McHugh addressed an Enterprise Ireland Energy Efficiency seminar and explored opportunities for greater collaboration opportunities for Scottish and Irish companies.
Odran Madden, Coffey Construction Ltd’s Managing Director said:
‘Competing in overseas markets is always difficult and it is good to know that Enterprise Ireland is there with on the ground support when we need it to make the job easier.’