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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 27 Oct 1993

Vol. 435 No. 1

Written Answers. - Exports to European Markets.

Ivor Callely


147 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade his views on whether Ireland needs to build stronger market positions in the continental European markets; the measures or incentives he will introduce to achieve this; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ireland has experienced very strong export growth since the mid-1980s and now enjoys a sizeable trade surplus with almost all of the countries of continental Europe. In 1992, Ireland's exports to continental Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe, amounted to £8.1 billion — almost 50 per cent of our total exports.

Despite this satisfying position, I believe that there is still potential for increased penetration of the European markets. An Bord Tráchtála now offers a wide range of services and schemes to indigenous Irish firms to help them explore new markets and market segments on continental Europe. Among its schemes to help the Irish business person in the European market are three initiatives I announced earlier this year. These are:
—Europlace — under which ABT pays two thirds of the costs to a firm of appointing additional overseas based salespersons in the continental European markets;
— Marketlink — under which ABT contributes towards the cost of the appointment of a home based person to liaise with overseas market contacts; and
— Selling in Europe — financial support for persons and companies establishing themselves in order to represent Irish manufacturers in continental European markets.
In addition, I have recently been to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine as part of a strategy to help advance Irish interests in Central and Eastern Europe which offers significant new opportunities for Irish business expertise.