The County Carlow Chamber launched “International Carlow – An Exploration of the International Reach and Connections of Companies around Carlow” at the Presidents Christmas Lunch on Friday 1st December 2023.  The report presents the results from research into the international connections of Carlow companies conducted earlier in the year, specifically looking at Imports, Exports, Supports and Communications.

Speaking about the report, Brian O’Farrell, CEO of County Carlow Chamber commented, “The focus of this research was to get a better understanding of the international connections that Carlow companies have developed over the years, with a view to supporting them better both locally and globally in what they are doing.  Some very interesting figures have come out from the research and we look forward to connecting with members and the network to support the International ambitions of local companies.”

Despite Brexit, the United Kingdom remains a key trade partner as the top country we are importing from and also the main destination we are exporting to.  This research has not ascertained changes to the levels of imports or exports since Brexit , however we did ascertain that the main cause of challenges in importing was as a result of Brexit.

We have seen a growth in the number of Companies exporting in recent years and the findings of the report highlighted an interest in exploring export opportunities in the future.  Due to the ease of doing business, member states are top of the list as potential trade partners.

Companies across Carlow indicated that there were 5 main organisations/agencies they spoke with for advice ad support in relation to international markets, these being Carlow Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland, County Carlow Chamber, Irish Exporters Association and Revenue.  It is clear to see that thorough research is being carried out across Carlow with companies speaking to multiple organisations/agencies in preparation for expanding into international markets.

Operating Internationally may see companies dealing with trade partners whose first language is one of the other 7000+ languages of the world.  The most common International Language spoken or available across companies in Carlow is French, followed by Polish and German.  Recruiting staff with International Languages is important for 30.3% of companies and their future plans, while 43.7% of companies further indicated they would be interested in supporting their staff in learning International Languages.

Rowena Dooley, President of County Carlow Chamber commented “International business is crucial for the growth, diversification, and resilience of Carlow’s economy.  By participating in global markets, Carlow businesses can unlock new opportunities, drive economic development, and contribute to the overall prosperity of the county and south east region.  The County Carlow Chamber looks forward to working with local companies to further their International Ambitions, building connections and expanding into global markets.


Pictured at the Launch of International Carlow, An Exploration of the International Reach and Connections of Companies around Carlow are (R-L) Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; Rowena Dooley, President of County Carlow Chamber; Brian O’Farrell, CEO of County Carlow Chamber
Photo by James Fenlon Photography