With St Patrick’s Day this week is a big week for Ireland, its people both at home and around the world, and for Irish businesses.
Traditionally an annual moment to celebrate Ireland and all things Irish, it will be celebrated without the traditional parades and in person fanfare due to the pandemic.
For Irish people residing across the Middle East much like the diaspora in Bahrain, it is a reminder of home, but also a reminder of what Ireland has achieved in the world, and a look ahead to what we will achieve next.
As we see the approaching distant light at the end of the tunnel, enabled by the progress of the global vaccination programmes, we look ahead with hope that the end of the pandemic is nearing. This leads to considering the future that many, including us in Ireland, believe should be one being built back better – it is a time for us to focus on a world that is more sustainable as we tackle some of the greatest environmental challenges of our lifetimes. As the Government of Ireland launches a new global campaign this week – ‘Ready for a Green Future’ – to coincide with St Patrick’s Day, it galvanises our drive towards securing the future of our planet.
At the heart of this approach are the green innovators of Ireland, the companies brimming with innovation who are leading the way in providing solutions designed to tackle the challenges in our journey towards greater sustainability. These Irish green innovators are solving complex technical challenges and delivering sustainable and low carbon solutions to make renewable energy viable; reduce energy waste in our cities with smart technology; reduce agricultural waste and are helping to make construction cleaner.
Irish companies are already working with companies in Bahrain to help deliver innovative solutions that lead to reduced energy bills and carbon emissions, and also equipping companies with the data to make energy saving decisions in real time. Irish companies are enabling industries to thrive and deliver greater sustainability in agriculture, construction and transport, making buildings greener, cutting pollution and supporting renewable energy production. Across the Middle East, we see more and more interest for leading technologies operating as part of the green economy which Ireland is at the forefront of enabling.
A case in point is Hanley Energy, an Irish company providing customised, efficient energy solutions to the world’s most power heavy industries. In Bahrain, they are supporting the burgeoning data centres with critical power and energy technologies that advance on operational efficiency and sustainability. They work across the globe with hyperscale data centre clients and service their in-market operations in both the UAE and Bahrain. Last year, they partnered with local businesses in both markets to provide better on-demand product support and enhanced client service. The Mena region looks set for continued technology and data centre growth, with Hanley Energy unveiling new plans to further expand their footprint into more markets across the region.
With exports to Bahrain from Irish companies showing a year-on-year increase of 17 per cent as of 2019, this trend is set to only continue. So, as we celebrate this St Patrick’s Day with the green of Ireland spreading around the region and the world, we also celebrate the opportunity to emerge from the pandemic with greater hope for a more sustainable future, with more optimism as we get better equipped for a green future.
The author is regional manager for the Middle East and North Africa at Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency