Written Answers. - North-South Trade.

Tony Killeen


564 Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the analysis, if any, which has been undertaken by his Department, or by any other body, of factors which impede North-South trade; if so, the findings of such an analysis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16572/96]

An Bord Tráchtála, the executive agency for which I have overall policy responsibility, plays an active role in ensuring that North-South trade is not impeded by any lack of marketing or promotional activity. The board has been active particularly in researching two-way trade opportunities; producing a wide range of up-to-date, comprehensive and user-friendly market information sources; and working closely with a variety of bodies, including the Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland, LEDU and the IBEC/CBI Business Council.

This work has been complemented by a series of workshops and seminars, bringing together buyers and sellers from North and South. Last week, I opened one such workshop, in Carrickmacross, where 120 companies met 21 public sector and utility purchasers in a series of face-to-face meetings. In 1995, the same workshop generated business of £3.5 million for Irish SMEs from both parts of the island.