On 5 August 2022, the EU SME Centre, in cooperation with Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland, two members of our associated partner Trade Promotion Europe, as well as with IDA Ireland, organised a hybrid event to connect European producers with distributors and investors in China.
During this event, Irish brands Kinahans, Listoke, Portmagee, Sliabh Liag Distillers, and Teeling presented the excellency and unique character of their whiskeys and gins to potential distributors and investors welcomed at the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing and on Zoom across the world.
Speakers representing the Embassy of Ireland, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, the EU SME Centre, and whiskey expert Nic Chan gave an overview of current opportunities, noting the remarkable resilience of the Irish economy throughout the years 2020 and 2021, particularly in a sector expected to go from strength to strength, with whiskey exports up by 25% from 2020 to 2021.
Gareth Hargadon, Economic Counsellor at the Embassy of Ireland, introduced a sector increasingly characterised by premium products and the emergence of “many new distilleries who are deepening and broadening the existing range of Irish whiskey.”
Noting that great changes in the sector had changed assumptions, Mr Hargadon emphasised that “today is an exciting time to invest in Irish whiskey.”
Pointing out the strong relationship established between Irish whiskey producers and distributors in China, the speakers emphasised the importance of these links during the pandemic, with limited travel opportunities between Ireland and China.
James Doherty from Sliabh Liag Distillers, Bronagh Conlon from Listoke Distillery and Gin School, and Stuart McNamara from Portmagee Whiskey joined the event online from Ireland to present the process, resources, and expertise that make their products unique.
The event concluded with a Q&A discussion between the audience and the producers, followed by a whiskey and gin tasting of selected products from brands Kinahans, Listoke, Portmagee, Sliabh Liag, and Teeling.
Small and medium-sized enterprises of all sectors looking to enter the market in China can benefit from the hybrid events organised by the EU SME Centre and our network of partners across Europe and China. The Centre’s team welcomes queries from all SMEs from the European Union and SMP-participating countries at firstname.lastname@example.org.