Join IrishCentral this July as we pay tribute to the #InternationalIrish who are breaking the mold, smashing glass ceilings, and emerging as the next generation of global thinkers and leaders. 

We take a look at Irish business associations around the world who play pivotal roles in strengthening the bonds between the adopted nations of the Irish diaspora and their ancestral home of Ireland.

These groups foster longstanding relationships between business people of Irish heritage and encourage bi-lateral business opportunities, trade, and investment.

Irish business associations in the United States

The economic relationship between the United States and Ireland traditionally followed the allure of lineage and a strong desire by Irish Americans to re-invest in Ireland.

The US is Ireland's largest trade partner after the UK with many US companies taking advantage of Ireland's well-educated workforce and low corporate tax rate by locating their European headquarters there.

How many US companies are located in Ireland?

According to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, there are 700 US companies now located in Ireland employing 155,000 people. 

US firms indirectly support a further 100,000 jobs in the Irish economy, in total accounting for 20% of employment in Ireland. 

Ireland has benefited from over $387bn in direct foreign investment from the US – gaining more from American firms than Brazil, Russia, India, and China combined.

How many Irish companies are located in the US?

There are now over 700 Enterprise Ireland client companies exporting to the US, with 440 companies employing over 81,000 people in their US operations, across all 50 states.

The total number of people employed in the US by Irish affiliated entities is over 100,000. Most of this number is represented by a few companies like CRH and Kerry Group.

Ireland Chamber of Commerce – USA

For over 30 years the Ireland Chamber of Commerce-USA (ICCUSA) has promoted trans-Atlantic business development, trade missions, educational initiatives and philanthropy from the United States to Ireland while also improving relations and connecting companies around the world.

The ICCUSA provides value to its corporate and individual members through ample networking events and educational forums throughout their chapters in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Georgia.

The group also has strategic partnerships with Chambers Ireland - Ireland’s largest business organization - and 60 member chambers representing over 13,000 businesses throughout the island.

In addition, ICCUSA also has a close partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. which has over 4 million members worldwide.

Irish Business Association

With 1.3 million New Jersey residents claiming Irish descent – a group of New Jersey business professionals launched the Irish Business Association (IBA) in 2008 to promote business relationships and personal interaction within the Irish-American business community in New Jersey.

Members leverage off our shared heritage to both foster social relationships and create business opportunities for existing and new members.

The IBA is also affiliated with the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in the New York/Northern New Jersey region, comprising 14 regional and local chambers.

The IBA meets on the second Thursday of each month at Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant and Tavern in Clark, New Jersey – 1085 Central Avenue, Clark, NJ.

The Irish Business Organization of New York

The Irish Business Organization of New York (IBO) advances the business interests of Irish and Irish American business people in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and beyond.

The IBO provides a unique forum for Irish and Irish-American business people via its regular networking meetings and other events and initiatives. Their mission is to "network, communicate and reciprocate!"

The IBO meets four times per month: Young Professionals Group Event, Evening Meeting, Breakfast Meeting and their Minding Your Business Saturday Seminar.

The Boston Irish Business Association

The Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA) promotes the business interests of its members and member organizations located in Massachusetts.

BIBA is comprised of small and medium size business owners, government officials, as well as executives from multi-national corporations.

The organization hosts networking events for its membership throughout the year as well as content-based business forums.

Irish American Business Chamber & Network

Based in Philadelphia, the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (IABCN) promotes the interests of its members and the development of economic and educational relationships between the United States and Ireland.

Through a series of networking forums for business executives, IABCN provides growth opportunities to exchange information and ideas on doing business with one another. 

Forums are hallmarked by the appearance of top CEOs, government executives, and directors who share similar interests and goals.

Ireland Canada Business Association

The Ireland Canada Business Association (ICBA) forges stronger commercial ties between Ireland and Canada by providing links to Ireland Canada Chambers of Commerce in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Calgary.

The Patron of the Association is the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland and their members are a select group of international businesses ranging from small to large, startups to established institutions.

The ICBA has the active participation of Ireland and Canada’s most prominent business leaders as its core supporters and influencers.

Irish Business Associations in the UK

The UK is the largest single market for Ireland and thus a vitally important strategic business partner. Some of the main Irish business associations in the UK include the Irish International Business Network, the London Irish Business Society and the British Irish Chamber of Commerce

The on-going Brexit debacle has left many businesses concerned for the economic future of both the UK and Ireland.

For example, the main threat to Brexit comes from barriers to exports to the UK and also delays and higher prices for importers of UK goods to Ireland.

The Irish International Business Network

Founded in 2007, The Irish International Business Network (IIBN) is made up of successful Irish entrepreneurs and business professionals throughout the world.

The group is headquartered in London and is comprised of one centralized organization, namely IIBN Global, and a number of local Chapters in London, New York and Dublin and Central Eastern Europe (CEE).

The objective of IIBN is to facilitate greater communication between first, second and third generation Irish individuals for the purpose of identifying and exploiting new business relationships and opportunities.

Its mentorship programs are supported and funded by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs through its Emigrant Support Program.

The London Irish Business Society 

The London Irish Business Society (LIBS) was established in 2009 to provide a forum for Irish business professionals to network and share ideas.

LIBS hold speaker events on a range of topics which are free to attend.

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce (BICC) was incorporated in 2011 after a group of Irish and British business leaders met to discuss how the improving and longstanding commercial and economic relationship between the Islands could be helped.

The objective of the Chamber is to champion the €60 billion annual trade between the UK and Ireland which directly sustains over 400,000 jobs.

BICC is a bilateral Chamber, engaging members from across two islands and five legislative bodies in meaningful dialogue with a common purpose.

Excellent networking events help BICC members find new suppliers and markets.

Sector driven policy committees enable firms to jointly examine opportunities and threats and to think about collaborative growth in Europe and beyond.

The Ireland China Business Association

The Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) was established in 2000 to explore opportunities and identify keys areas of potential cooperation between Irish and Chinese companies in the emerging Chinese market.

Two-way trade between Ireland and China is estimated to have exceeded €14bn in 2017 and business opportunities continue to flourish both for Irish companies in China and equally strong investment opportunities for Chinese individual, corporate and institutional investors in Ireland.

The ICBA optimizes these opportunities and is recognized today as the leading and only Irish Association focused solely on all aspects of the Chinese market.

The group works very closely with the Chinese Embassy, Team Ireland in China, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice and Equality, Department of Enterprise, Innovation, and Jobs, Department of Education and Skills, Enterprise Ireland, IDA and leading Irish and Chinese businesses and financial institutions.

The Irish Chamber of Commerce Singapore

The Irish Chamber of Commerce Singapore is a network of business professionals whose aim is to strengthen business connections between Ireland and Singapore.

The Chamber has an extensive reach and while there is a select committee focus on four core areas, people representing all sectors in Singapore are members of the Irish Chamber.

These sectors include financial services and banking, medical, food, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, information communication technology and construction services.

Irish Business Association of Vietnam

The Irish community in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos has grown rapidly over the last number of years with over one thousand Irish people living and working in the region.

The Irish Business Association of Vietnam provides a contact point for the Irish business community in Vietnam and also encourages Irish community activities like the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh Gaelic football clubs, the Viet Celts and the Saigon Gaels, which both organize community events, as well as regular matches, throughout the year.

While the numbers of Irish in Cambodia and Laos are small, the Irish expat population is growing rapidly. There are Irish people working in a wide number of sectors in these countries, from hospitality and tourism to teaching and development work. 

Swiss Irish Business Association

Since its inception in 1988, Swiss Irish Business Association (SIBA) has been bringing together business leaders by facilitating contacts and providing a networking platform for the exchange of ideas, trade information and business opportunities between Ireland and Switzerland.

Whilst encouraging member initiatives, SIBA combines their resources with a wider network of Chambers and as a member of The European Chamber of Ireland, achieve well-focused communication including the successful exchange of best practice information.

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As part of IrishCentral's #InternationalIrish month for July, we take a look at Irish business associations around the world who play integral roles in strengthening the bonds between their adopted nations and their ancestral home.Getty Images