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Tánaiste opens Annual Asian Gaelic Games during trade mission to Japan and Korea

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., has ended his trade mission to Asia by officially opening the Asian Gaelic Games in Seoul, South Korea. 

"It was a great honour to open the 16th Annual Asian Gaelic Games in Suwon City along with the President of the GAA Christy Cooney and to have the opportunity of meeting the players from across the region", the Tánaiste said. 

The games, which are being hosted by the Seoul Gaels, will see almost sixty teams from the Arabian Gulf to Japan and from China to Indonesia, taking part in this weekend's events. 

Earlier today the Tánaiste delivered the keynote address to the 5th Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum (APIBF). 

"I am deeply aware of the potential of the Asian economies for Ireland. Our presence has grown from 46 Irish companies in 1999 to more than 250 today", said the Tánaiste. 

"We expect our trade with Korea to grow significantly with the EU Free Trade Agreement, one of the most comprehensive of its kind."

The Tánaiste also met with members of the Seoul Finance Forum and informed them of Ireland’s progress toward recovery.  The discussion focused on how to strengthen Ireland-Korea cooperation particularly in the area of international financial services.

The Tánaiste also met with the Korean Minister for Unification, Mr Yu Woo-ik, and the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Min Dong-seok. 

"I took the opportunity during my meetings with the Ministers to raise the issue of reopening the Korean market to Irish beef as I had done with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura in Japan yesterday."

"We also discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations between Ireland and Korea, including ways in which Ireland can share its experience of cross-border cooperation with the Korean administration."


Note for Editors:

  • The Tánaiste began his trade mission to Japan earlier this week where he discussed trade relations with the Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura and attend a series of business and trade-related events.  He addressed senior management of 50 Japanese companies involved in the ICT industry and met the Ireland-Japan Chamber of Commerce as well as members of the Global Irish Network.  He also met Keidandren, the representative organisation for the major Japanese corporations, to discuss opportunities for promoting trade between Ireland and Japan.   
  • The Tánaiste's visit to Asia took place following the inaugural meeting of the Export Trade Council on 29 September 2011 which enhances cooperation and coordination across Government Departments and State Agencies involved in the promotion and development of trade and exports.  The visit aimed to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations, and promote Ireland as a business partner with the fourth largest Asia economy. 
  • The visit also followed on from the second meeting of the Global Irish Economic Forum, organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which is an invaluable resource assisting State Agencies and Irish companies to access key markets.  The visit was an opportunity to encourage and strengthen Irish business networks and the Irish community abroad generally.