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Tánaiste to promote trade and investment with Japan and Korea

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will start a visit to Japan and Korea tomorrow until Saturday, 15 October. 

The Tánaiste’s visit will strengthen bilateral political and economic relations, and promote Ireland as a business partner with these two key trading partners in Asia.  It takes place following the inaugural meeting of the Export Trade Council on 29 September 2011 which will enhance cooperation and coordination across Government Departments and State Agencies involved in the promotion and development of trade and exports.  It also follows 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 Tánaiste will be in Japan from 12 to 13 October where he will discuss trade relations with the Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura and attend a series of business and trade-related events.  He will address senior management of 50 Japanese companies involved in the ICT industry and will meet the Ireland-Japan Chamber of Commerce.  He will also meet Keidandren, the representative organisation for the major Japanese corporations, to discuss opportunities for promoting trade.   The President of the Japanese Red Cross, Mr Tadateru Konoé, will brief the Tánaiste on the humanitarian situation following the Tohoku earthquake.

The Tánaiste will be in Korea from 13 to 15 October.  He will deliver a keynote address to the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum as well as meeting senior Irish business people and their clients.  He will meet leaders in the financial services sector in the Seoul Finance Forum.  He will also have senior level meetings with the Minister of Unification in the Korean Cabinet, Mr Yu Woo-ik as well as the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Min Dong-seok.  The Tánaiste will meet members of the Irish community and will perform the official opening of the 2011 Asian Gaelic Games.

Speaking in advance of the visit, the Tánaiste said,

“This is a timely opportunity to promote trade and investment with these partners in Asia, following as it does from the inauguration of the Export Trade Council and the Global Irish Economic Forum.  It is important that we build on the momentum created by these events to grow our business in these key markets. 

Ireland’s relationship with Asia was a key theme of the Forum with many representatives urging greater interaction between Ireland and the region in all areas.  My visit to Japan and Korea and the ongoing support for the “Farmleigh Fellowship” are just two concrete examples of the Government’s enhanced engagement with the region.

I am looking forward to meeting representatives of the State Agencies and their clients in Japan and Korea, as well as important business contacts, and to promoting the trade and investment which plays an important role in delivering the economic growth that Ireland’s economy needs at this critical time”.