I propose to take Questions Nos. 169 and 170 together.
IDA Ireland’s overseas teams and office network are vital to support the agency’s efforts in winning new Foreign Direct Investment across the world. From time-to-time IDA seeks to expand its global network of offices and teams. Many firms are looking to expand into new markets and Ireland is a proven location for global companies to grow and serve their customer base in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
IDA Ireland has decided to tender for a part-time Israel based Business Development Consultant. This person will represent IDA to support its efforts to win new investment. This is a model used across many territories. The Business Development Consultant will be expected to identify Israeli-headquartered target companies with potential for investing in Ireland, engage with senior decision-makers in these companies and present Ireland’s value proposition as an investment location.
IDA Ireland has advised my Department that as part of its normal evaluation and due diligence process across all geographies, it considers many factors including societal and reputational risk, that could be associated with investment activities prior to accepting a client into its portfolio.
As an Agency of my Department, I expect IDA Ireland to align with Ireland's well known position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, which informs our engagement with the State of Israel across a range of bilateral issues, including trade. Ireland distinguishes between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
The EU and its Member States, including Ireland, are wholly opposed to Israeli settlements, which are contrary to international law, and are damaging to the prospects of peace.
UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted on 23 December 2016, calls on all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. This Resolution reflected the position already held by Ireland, the EU and the UN for many years.
Ireland consistently raises human rights issues in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory at the highest international levels, including most recently at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Ireland remains steadfast in its support for a comprehensive two state solution which protects the future of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.