Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (287)

Seán Kenny

Question:

287. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his plans to have a trade mission to Germany; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24330/14]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Germany is Europe's largest economy and one of Ireland’s top four trading partners. In 2013 Irish goods exports to Germany were valued at over €6.5 billion and services exports in 2012 (the most recent data available) were valued at over €8 billion. Germany is also the third-largest source of tourists to Ireland, with almost half a million German tourists visiting Ireland in 2013. As part of the Governments' 2014 ministerial-led St Patrick's Day "Promote Ireland" programme, the Minister of State, Deputy, Fergus O’Dowd visited Germany. In 2013 both Minister of State, Deputy Sean Sherlock, and I led Enterprise Ireland Trade Missions to Germany. My programme focused on building on the strong relationships that exist already with the aim of growing exports and creating the jobs we need. My programme included:

- 9 bilateral meetings with IDA and Enterprise Ireland target companies;

- A trade/investment event with over 100 companies;

- 5 Irish tourism/cultural events;

- 2 Bord Bia events to promote Irish food exports;

- Interviews with German media as part of the continuing drive to rebuild Ireland's reputation.

I am confident that this jobs focused trade and investment-related programme has helped Enterprise Ireland clients cement relationships with their German partners and win access to key decision-makers in target sectors which should facilitate employment growth. It has also helped German investors to continue to see Ireland as an attractive location for foreign direct investment and further expand operations and employment in Ireland. While further missions to Germany are not planned for 2014, Enterprise Ireland has an office in Dusseldorf from where it will continue to provide services to Irish-owned companies looking to develop their businesses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.