Written Answers. - Washington Investment Conference.

Brendan Smith

Question:

94 Mr. B. Smith asked the asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if it is proposed to hold a follow-up conference to the Washington Investment Conference; if so, the preparations, if any, that are being made in this regard; the likely date and venue for such a conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [

At the conclusion of the White House Conference for Trade and Investment in Ireland held in Washington last May, it was envisaged that a follow-up conference would be convened to review progress. The US Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown, during President Clinton's visit to Dublin, indicated that consideration was being given to holding such a conference in Chicago. In discussions last week with a senior official of the US Department of Commerce, it emerged that US planning of a follow-up conference had been interrupted due to the furloughing of some key staff during December and January as a consequence of the internal budget debate between the Administration and Congress. I am, therefore, not in a position to give details concerning a follow-up conference at this time.