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Visit by the Tánaiste & Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade to Paris, 24-26 May 2011

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore T.D., will conclude his visit to Paris today.

During his visit the Minister met his French counterpart, Alain Juppé; participated in discussions at the 50th anniversary Ministerial Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and took part in a number of business and trade promotion events. 

In a substantive and constructive exchange with Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, the Tánaiste set out the measures the Government is taking to stabilise the Irish economy and underlined the importance the Government attaches to maintaining the current corporation tax regime, which he described as a core plank of our industrial policy and an essential element in ensuring that Ireland can grow its way out of the current crisis.

In a series of business and trade-related engagement during the visit, the Tánaiste had meetings with the Australian Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, and with the New Zealand Minister for Trade Tim Groser.  He also hosted an event with France-based members of the Global Irish Network, organised by the Irish Embassy and the Irish trade and investment promotion agencies to identify how the Network can assist the economic recovery process.  The Tánaiste also opened the new Paris office of ‘Realex Payments’, an Enterprise Ireland client company working in the area of online payment services. 

Speaking to the Global Network members, the Tánaiste underlined the importance of trade and commercial links between the France and Ireland, noting that France is Ireland’s fourth-largest trading partner; its third largest export market for Enterprise Ireland client companies; the second-largest client for Irish food products; and its fourth-largest tourism market.  The Tánaiste said that the Government is determined to help stimulate growth and jobs through targeted measures, such as the “jobs initiative”.  He added:

“ We can, and we will, restore our economy to prosperity and growth.  We will do it as a committed member of the European Union.  And we will do it in partnership with our friends who will find in Ireland, along with the traditional céad míle fáilte, a clear determination to get down to business”.

At the OECD Ministerial Council the Tánaiste took part in a series of debates on the challenges facing the global economy, on trade, economic growth and on job creation.  In a discussion on development policy, the Tánaiste reiterated Ireland’s commitment to address poverty and promote equitable growth and called for an international collaborative response to tackle hunger.