I would like to congratulate François-Philippe Champagne on his appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada and to wish him success in his new role. While I have not yet had the opportunity to speak with Minister Champagne, who took up office on 20 November last, I am looking forward to engaging with him in the near future.
In particular, I look forward to briefing the Minister on our new Canada Strategy with its enhanced political and diplomatic focus on Canada within the overall context of Global Ireland and our expanded global footprint. I will highlight the impressive increase in bilateral trade, tourism and investment flows in recent years. I will also recall Ireland’s priorities in the context of Brexit and thank Minister Champagne for Canada’s continued support for the Good Friday Agreement and the Peace Process.
In line with the Strategy, we are devoting considerable new resources to the bilateral relationship with Canada, with a new Consulate General opening in Vancouver in October 2018 and another Consulate General planned for Toronto in the coming years. In parallel, we are expanding the presence and reach of our Agency network across Canada, with Enterprise Ireland having recently announced its intention to open an office in Montreal. We are also establishing a dedicated US and Canada Directorate at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland to support and oversee delivery of the Strategy.
With our shared attachment to the multilateral rules-based order and values as well as our shared commitment to free trade, I am confident that Ireland and Canada will continue to cooperate closely on emerging global challenges. I look forward to discussing these issues with Minister Champagne in due course.