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Visit by the Tánaiste to Germany, 8 July 2011

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore T.D., will travel to Germany tomorrow, 8 July, where he will meet his counterpart Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.  During the visit the Tánaiste will also host a business and trade-related meeting with representatives of the Irish business community in Germany.

The Tánaiste and Minister Westerwelle will discuss the follow-up to the June European Council, the current EU agenda (including Multiannual Financial Framework), the Middle East Peace Process, developments in the Arab world and Ireland’s chairmanship of the OSCE in 2012.  Discussions will also focus on the challenges facing the global economy and the euro area.  The Tánaiste will highlight the measures the Government is taking to stabilise the Irish economy and to continue to meet the terms of the EU/IMF programme.  Speaking ahead of the visit the Tánaiste referred to the significant political, commercial and trade links between Ireland and Germany and underlined the importance of continuing to build relationships with our European colleagues.  He added:

“I look forward to meeting Guido Westerwelle and to sharing views on how we meet the challenges currently facing Europe and the euro area.  I will be emphasising the Government’s determination to stabilise Ireland’s economy, to emerge from the EU/IMF programme as soon as possible, and to create a sustainable economic future for our country.  I will also underline the importance I attach to pursuing all necessary measures to facilitate our recovery”.         

Ahead of his meeting with representatives of the Irish business community, the Tánaiste referred to the importance of continuing to engage with the Irish Diaspora in developing Ireland’s global business and trade relations.  He looked forward also to developing these contacts further at the Global Irish Economic Forum to be held in Dublin Castle on 7-8 October, 2011. The Tánaiste said: 

“It is vital to our overall economic recovery that we expand our economic ties with Germany.  Germany is one of our leading economic partners: a vital export market for Irish goods and services; the second most important source of foreign direct investment; and, the third most important country for tourism into Ireland.  It is reassuring to note that exports to Germany and sales by Irish-owned companies into the German market are rising.  Tourism numbers have also grown.  I expect our business ties to continue to develop as more and more Irish-owned companies supported by Enterprise Ireland seek to develop their business in Germany.”