Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (147)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

147. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if his attention has been drawn to the announcement by the IDA that it plans to appoint a consultant in Israel to present Ireland as an investment location; if his views were sought in advance of this announcement; the systems that will be in place to ensure that businesses connected to illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory including but not limited to those listed in the UN database will not be engaged by the IDA or benefit in any way from the proposed new arrangement; if he is in agreement with this decision of the IDA in view of UN CERD January 2020 recommendations which demand Israel ceases its policies of racial discrimination and apartheid and the 2017 Report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia accusing Israel of imposing an apartheid regime of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18277/21]

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Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

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.

My views were not sought in advance of the announcement by the IDA of its plans to tender for a part-time Israel based Business Development Consultant. 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.