Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (106)

Bernard Durkan


106. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he, his officials and the embassies and consulates overseas continue to seek out new trading partnerships within the EU and elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46605/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Embassy network continues to 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 agencies, including by supporting their strategic objectives and activities in overseas markets.

In June 2018, the Government launched the Global Ireland initiative, which aims to double the impact and scope 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.

Since the launch last year, new Embassies have opened in Wellington, Bogotá, Amman, Monrovia and Santiago de Chile, and new Consulates General in Vancouver, Mumbai, Cardiff, Los Angeles and Frankfurt.

The Taoiseach formally opened the new Consulate in Los Angeles last September and the formal opening of the Frankfurt office took place in October. These latest openings bring the number of diplomatic and consular missions in the network to 90 with 10 opened since the start of the Global Ireland expansion plan.

These locations have been chosen based on a range of factors, including their potential to diversify our markets, increase bilateral trade and investment, and enable Irish companies to take advantage of new opportunities. In light of Brexit, these factors are even more important than ever.

In addition, 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. This approach is aligned with the objectives set out in the Government’s trade strategy Ireland Connected: Trading and Investing in a Dynamic World.