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CTT refers to Coras Trachtala, Irish for Trade Board, and the organisation was a government agency, known in English as The Irish Export Board, later Irish Trade Board, and later still merged into what is now Enterprise Ireland. Its responsibility in the great old days was to promote and develop Irish exports to the world. It was founded in 1952, when Irish exports mostly comprised agricultural commodities. meat and butter- and the country, like the rest of Europe, desperately needed to earn dollars to pay for vital imports. The Board/CTT was set up, at arms length from the main civil service- it was known as a “semi-State” – and told to create exports to wherever, but initially to the US. Personnel were hired from industry, typically college graduates with a few years experience in the private sector, and were posted to offices abroad, given bags of samples to carry and went off knocking on importers doors. Thirty five years later, the offices were scattered across 25-30 countries, North America 3, Continental Europe 10, UK 3, and ten or more others ranging from Bejing to Sydney, Lagos, etc. The service to exporters was very much hands on, with CTT guys acting almost as extensions to the management teams of Irish companies. Virtually all companies used the service regularly and a lot was achieved, really!.
OK, enough about CTT and its great old days !. Now about 200 former super stars of the place have joined the alumni association and collaborate together from time to time, discussing this and that, and always looking to the future. CTT has gone, most of indigenous industry has gone with it, apart from agriculture, but, never fear, we’re working on some new ideas.