Written Answers. - Trade Benefits for Exporters.

Tony Killeen

Ceist:

562 Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the benefits, if any, which have accrued to Irish exporters from the London retail conference. [16570/96]

I assume the Deputy is referring to a function I attended at the Irish Embassy, London, on Thursday, 13 June 1996, for chief executives of major retail outlets operating in the British clothes market which accounts for more than half of Ireland's £450 million annual output of clothing. The primary objective of the function was to consolidate and strengthen relationships with some of the major buyers in that market and to explore with them prospects for further business which could be developed with the assistance and support of an Bord Tráchtála.

Tony Killeen

Ceist:

563 Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the outcome of the Helsinki Trade Conference in terms of increased trade for Irish exporters. [16571/96]

I assume the Deputy is referring to the Bord Tráchtála trade mission which I led to Finland on 4 June of this year. This trade mission was part of Bord Tráchtála's ongoing Opportunity Europe '96 programmes of increasing indigenous Irish exports to Europe. Eleven industrial supplier companies took part in the mission along with five consultancy companies. Our main aim for the industrial companies was to promote Ireland as a quality source of subcontract supply for Finland's strong base of international manufacturers such as Nokia, Kone, Valmet and ICL. For the services companies, the aim was to try to establish a partnership approach to bring together the complementary strengths of Irish and Finnish companies in tendering for internationally-funded development projects in the Baltic region and the Russian Federation.

I am satisfied that the mission achieved substantial benefits for the participants both in terms of strengthening existing business relationships and in developing worthwhile new business opportunities. As a result of meetings which I had in Helsinki ABT are now working with two Finnish multinationals in order to identify areas where Irish companies can become suppliers to these OEMs, original equipment manufacturers.