The pursuit and development of new markets for Irish agrifood exports is an ongoing and central component of the strategic development of the agrifood sector as set out in Food Wise 2025 and is of particular relevance given the need to diversify our markets and to reduce our exposure to the United Kingdom market in light of Brexit. Over the last number of budgets, I have significantly increased funding to Bord Bia to allow it to identify alternative priority markets, to support market diversification efforts by individual companies and to support promotional campaigns for Irish agrifood exports to international markets, for example in the case of beef to Germany and the Netherlands.
Since the UK referendum, I have led trade missions to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, China, Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia and, in February of this year, to Turkey. Further missions are planned this year to China, which commences this weekend, to Japan and South Korea in June, and to Algeria and Egypt in November. Trade missions play an important role in securing greater market access and in deepening trade with existing markets, and destinations are chosen in accordance with market access requirements, industry intelligence and the market prioritisation activities of Bord Bia.
I highlight my Department's plans to expand its staffing in international locations over the period to the end of 2024 in accordance with the Government's Global Ireland 2025 initiative. This will see the creation of new agriculture attaché posts in a number of new locations, primarily aimed at supporting the market development activities that will take place in these regions over the coming years. More generally, my Department will continue to seek out and identify new markets, and I am ready to respond as appropriate to other opportunities that may arise.