The initiative referred to in the Deputy's question is an intensification of An Bord Tráchtála's ongoing regional office programme which aims to provide easy access at a local level to the agency's marketing services and overseas office network.
The 1993 programme is specifically aimed at identifying new export opportunities for 2,000 small and medium sized indigenious companies who are either first time or existing exporters. The initiative will involve a range of activities including seminars, workshops and overseas buyer trips.
For example, as part of the 1993 programme, I recently opened the first in a series of four consumers and industrial product workshops which will be held in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. These `Gateway' workshops are intended to assist companies to develop new markets in the Benelux countries. An Bord Tráchtála considers the Benelux market to be an ideal introduction for first time exporters to mainland Europe as it is a very open market with a positive image of Ireland and excellent transport links for exporters.