The U.S. Commerce Department and Regions Bank are sponsoring a seminar Friday, April 30, in Atlanta, aimed at helping small- to medium-sized companies export to Ireland.

Stephen Anderson, senior commercial officer with the U.S. Commercial Service in Dublin, is scheduled to speak as is Mary Waters, the Georgia Department of Economic Development‘s international trade manager.

Other speakers include two vice presidents of IDA Ireland, which is responsible for attracting foreign investment there.

Ireland, with a population of 4.2 million, has fewer people than metro Atlanta.

But that low population gives companies a place to test their business models before expanding into other parts of Europe, Mr. Anderson told GlobalAtlanta in a telephone interview from Dublin. Ireland is a member of the eurozone, 16 countries that have adopted the euro as their currency.

“Ireland is a good portal, a good doorway to get into Europe,” Mr. Anderson said. “It’s a platform.”

With a corporate income tax rate of 12.5 percent, Ireland in the 1990s began attracting major U.S. companies such as Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and pharmaceutical manufacturers, said Mr. Anderson.

Although Ireland took a big hit during the economic downturn of 2008, it is on the road to recovery, he added.

“I would argue that Ireland is coming off the bottom,” he said.

The seminar, which begins at 8 a.m. and ends at noon, will be held at Regions Bank, One Glenlake Parkway, Suite 400. Cost is $25 per person. 

Register here. For questions, contact Amy Ryan at (404) 897-6086 or email her at