DUBAI, UAE and RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, November 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- 37 Irish companies visiting KSA and the U.A.E.Charlie Flanagan TD, Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, has arrived in the region to begin Enterprise Ireland's Trade Mission to the Middle East. Minister Flanagan will travel to Riyadh (12 & 13 November), Abu Dhabi (14 November) and Dubai (15 November) to meet senior Government Ministers and to facilitate talks with a wide range of local businesses and participating Irish companies, as well as announcing a number of new contract wins and partnership agreements. 37 Irish companies are taking part in the trade mission, spanning a number of key sectors including education, healthcare, digital media, ICT and telecoms, financial services, aviation and agri-technology. The visit is organised by Enterprise Ireland Middle East, the regional arm of the Irish government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. The visit comes as Ireland continues to strengthen industry links with the region. Exports of Enterprise Ireland backed companies to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states increased by 12% in 2015 to over €507m with further strong gains projected this year. Mr. Charlie Flanagan TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade said: "I am delighted to be here with such a wide range of innovative Irish companies who are forging successful partnerships with prominent entities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Middle East is a very important region for us and there are significant opportunities for even more Irish companies to do business here in the future".