Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (118)

Bernard Durkan


118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which new consulates, trade missions and or embassies continue to vigorously pursue trade with other jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25579/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Embassies and Consulates play a central role in advancing Ireland’s international trade as part of Team Ireland overseas. Embassies and Consulates around the world provide vital support for Ireland’s state enterprise agencies, including by supporting their strategic objectives and activities in overseas markets. The role of the Embassy in supporting Ireland’s trade objectives is particularly pertinent in markets with limited or no state agency presence.

Officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade across the Embassy network continuously engage in economic and public diplomacy, to advance Ireland’s prosperity and raise awareness of Ireland as a great place to live, study, work, visit and do business.

The Department’s officers overseas engage with host country Governments and multilateral institutions on a range of trade-related issues, including market access, regulatory compliance, visas, phyto-sanitary issues, and Double Taxation Agreements.

The Embassy network also supports Irish businesses in market, by providing contacts and information, organising Ministerial visits overseas and supporting trade missions, in partnership with the state agencies.

In June 2018, the Government launched the Global Ireland initiative, which aims to double the impact of Ireland’s global footprint by 2025. Global Ireland ’s targets include enhanced global engagement, the expansion of Ireland’s Embassy network and strengthening of Ireland’s state agency presence overseas. Each of these measures will increase Ireland’s international visibility, facilitate market diversification and intensification, and deepen bilateral relations in support of the Government’s economic and political objectives, including in the context of Brexit.

As part of Global Ireland, Ireland has recently opened Embassies in Wellington, Bogota, Santiago and Amman, as well as Consulates in Vancouver, Mumbai and Cardiff. Consulates are due to open later this year in Frankfurt and LA. In 2020, new Embassies will open in Kyiv, Manila and Rabat. The Irish Aid office in Monrovia has been upgraded to an Embassy.

These locations have been chosen based on a range of factors, including their potential to diversify our markets, to grow trade and investment with Ireland, and to enable Irish companies to better take advantage of new opportunities.