Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan on Friday urged the country's companies to seek new growth opportunities in Asia.
At a dinner party in Dublin, Flanagan said companies seeking fresh opportunities should harness the government's resources in Asia to help them grow and expand.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade last year opened embassies in Jakarta and Bangkok and a consulate in Hong Kong with a remit to work with other state agencies to support Irish businesses to flourish in these less traditional markets, according to the Irish minister.
"These emerging economies have huge growth potential for Irish exports and investment," he said.
"While sectors such as financial services and aviation leasing offer some immediate potential, we also need to take a strategic approach and identify which areas have the potential to succeed over the longer term," he added.
Flanagan said there will be a significantly growing young middle class in the coming years in much of Asia.
"Their needs will not be the same in 10 to 20 years, so I encourage you all to cast your minds forward and think about how you can best position your businesses to continue to succeed in 10-20 years' time," he said.
He urged the Irish firms to consider how best they can use the resources available to maximize their success in Asian markets.
Flanagan said product exports to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries in 2014 were 1.2 billion euros (1.3 billion U.S. dollars) and services exports to these countries in 2013 were 1.4 billion euros.
Flanagan also spoke of the importance of education in fostering greater engagement between Ireland and Asian countries.
"Foreign students who study in Ireland and then return home are extremely valuable for us: they spread awareness and knowledge of Ireland when they return," he said.