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World Trade Center New Orleans to Lead Trade Mission to Ireland

This week, the World Trade Center New Orleans will lead a business delegation on a trade mission to three major cities in Ireland. Focusing on technology and health sciences, participants will learn about expansion opportunities for Louisiana-based businesses, meet with leading Irish companies to lay the foundation for business attraction efforts to Louisiana, learn more about how Ireland has successfully grown their economy, explore B2B opportunities. The World Trade Center will meet with businesses in Dublin, Galway, and Limerick. The trip continues World Trade Center New Orleans’ long-history of hosting trade missions to foreign markets.

“The Ireland trade mission is exciting on a couple levels,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of GNO, Inc. “First, it represents mutual economic opportunity, especially in tech and healthcare.  Second, the story of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ is one that can inspire and inform our own strategy here in Greater New Orleans.”

The trip comes off the heels of a visit to New Orleans last month by the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States Geraldine Byrne Nason, where she met with members of the delegation. The World Trade Center New Orleans has worked closely with IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for inward foreign direct investment into Ireland, to coordinate the trade mission.

“We very much look forward to welcoming this business delegation to Ireland,” said Ambassador Byrne Nason. We see great potential in our business relationship with Louisiana. The US is one of Ireland’s largest and most important trading partners, and Ireland is the 9th largest source of FDI into the US. We want to grow this mutually beneficial relationship with states like Louisiana, with which Ireland shares such strong historic people to people ties.”

Trade and investment between Ireland and the United States is at an all-time high and the country ranks as a top ten location for both inward and outward FDI with the United States. In Louisiana, nearly $116 billion in goods flow between the state and Ireland. In 2020, Irish-based gaming company Keywords Studios announced the acquisition of New Orleans-based High Voltage Software for $50 million.

“Over the past 30-years, the Irish economy has experienced transformational economic growth. I am excited to meet with leading Irish companies that have helped drive this growth and explore expansion opportunities to Louisiana” said Harrison Crabtree Director of the World Trade Center New Orleans “Trade missions such as this one, serve as a critical tool for creating economic prosperity across the state and connecting Louisiana businesses with a global audience.”

Ireland represents an ideal business partner for Louisiana, sharing traits such as a skilled workforce, low business costs, and attractive tax structures. Additionally, both locations are emerging as leading regions for innovation companies, serving as attractive alternatives to legacy tech hubs. U.S. companies choose Ireland as an entry point to Europe, the world’s largest single market area.

“From the Irish Channel to the Emerald Isle, it seems only fitting with our rich, shared cultural history to have the World Trade Center of New Orleans’s first trade mission under the operational partnership with GNO, Inc. be to Ireland,” said Board Chair of World Trade Center New Orleans Kristi App.  “With its vibrant economy, especially in the tech and healthcare sectors, the trade mission to Ireland creates opportunities for Louisiana companies to build relationships that will result in increased trade between our regions.”

The visit will include meetings with key government officials and business leaders, site visits to local facilities and research institutions, meetings with U.S. companies that have invested in Ireland, and presentations from Irish companies that could benefit from assets in Louisiana. This is the first trip hosted by World Trade Center New Orleans since developing a partnership with Greater New Orleans, Inc. in 2022.