Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - EEC Business Co-ordination Centre.

60.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the number of Irish firms that have made arrangements through the EEC "marriage bureau".

The bureau's report for its operation to October, 1973, indicates that 27 Irish firms sought contracts with other firms through the bureau.

I am not aware that any of the Irish firms have as yet concluded partnership arrangements as a result of the bureau's service. As I informed the Deputy in reply to a similar question on 25th October last, negotiations take place directly between the enterprises concerned.

Could the Minister indicate what type of businesses would be most interested in this type of association with European counterparts. For instance, the textile industry could probably do with some help.

I have a table from theEuropean Report business brief— on page 3 of that European Report there is a table setting out the industries by sector for the nine countries. I will simply read the column that relates to Ireland only by sector: chemical industry, two; metal-making, two; mechanical engineering, three; electrical engineering, one; food industry, six; clothing, two; textiles, three; forest products, one; miscellaneous industries, two; building and civil engineering, one; trade, two; transport, nil, and services, two— a wide spectrum in fact.