Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (75)

Niall Collins


75. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of doubling Ireland’s global footprint by 2025; his plans for the opening of new embassies, consulates and State agencies overseas particularly in the context of Brexit and the need for new markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25180/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Since its launch a year ago my Department has been working closely with the Department of the Taoiseach and a range of other Government partners to ensure the effective delivery of the ambitions set out in Global Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will open at least 26 new diplomatic Missions over the life time of Global Ireland and will further strengthen the existing Mission network.

In the past year new Embassies have opened in Wellington, Bogotá, Amman, Monrovia and Santiago de Chile, and new Consulates General in Vancouver, Mumbai and Cardiff. This brings to 88 the number of diplomatic Missions in the network. The expansion will continue this year to include new Consulates General in Los Angeles and Frankfurt. Embassies in Kyiv, Manila and Rabat will follow shortly thereafter.

Our new Missions are working to enhance Ireland’s international visibility; promote our prosperity, build new community and political contacts; protect and advance Ireland’s interests and values; and deliver on our commitments under Ireland’s new policy for International Development ‘A Better World’.

We have sought to deepen our engagement with the multilateral system with the launch last July of Ireland’s campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Officials from my Department both at home and abroad have been actively presenting Ireland’s case and seeking support among the other 192 UN Member States. This has provided Ireland with an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and contacts across the world, which will stand to us long after the campaign has ended.

In October we obtained observer status at the Organisation of the Francophonie – an important step in increasing our engagement with the French speaking world.

More recently I launched a new strategy for the US and Canada and a White Paper on International Development Policy. Work is underway on strategies for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the Asia Pacific Region. And a series of consultations are also underway for a new Diaspora policy. 

A critical component of the Global Ireland programme is identifying new opportunities to diversify our markets in a post-Brexit world. €8 million was allocated in budget 2019 to support the expansion of Ireland’s enterprise development network internationally. This investment will allow for a more targeted expansion of our State Agencies in both emerging and established international markets.  

In my Department planning is underway for Ireland’s participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai. Expo will showcase Ireland to a global audience, in a region with huge trade and investment potential and will support a 'Team Ireland' approach to promoting Ireland as a global partner for the development of new ideas and technologies, as well as an attractive location for business and investment.