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Minister Costello highlights the importance of ports to increasing trade with developing countries

Irish Aid, Trade, Minister Joe Costello, Press Releases, Ireland, 2013

Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD today highlighted the importance of efficient and competitive ports to driving greater trade with the developing world.   

He was speaking in Belfast at a meeting of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which Ireland supports to improve the capacity of ports in countries including Tanzania and Ghana. Irish Aid supports a partnership programme with Dublin Port Company, the Port of Cork and Belfast Harbour Commissioners to train port managers from developing countries. 

“Over the past fifteen years there has been a dramatic surge in sea trade in Asia and Africa which is leading to greater investment in ports across the world.  Ireland is proud to assist developing countries to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their ports by sharing knowledge and expertise between port operators.

“Ireland, with our strong experience in the port sector, is well-placed to assist countries across Africa to increase trade and business opportunities.  As an island nation, we are almost totally dependent on our ports for trade, so there are many lessons to be shared between Ireland and Africa in this very strategic sector.

“I have visited two of the participating ports in this programme:  Tema in Ghana and in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and seen the impact of this training programme on the ground. This is a cost-effective response from Ireland as improved levels of training will lead to better opportunities for investment in, and trading with, developing countries.

At today’s meeting, Minister Costello met UNCTAD, Secretary General, Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, to discuss the programme.

For further information contact Fionnuala Quinlan, press officer Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on 01 408 2653/087 9099 975

Note for editors

-          Irish Aid is the Government’s programme of overseas assistance. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Further information is available at www.irishaid.ie.  

-          UNCTAD is the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s. UNCTAD has been implementing the Train For Trade port training programme since 1996 in five developing countries: Ghana, Indonesia, the Maldives, Namibia and Tanzania.