Tánaiste begins trade and investment focused St. Patrick’s Day programme in the US14 March 2013
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will today (Thursday) begin his St. Patrick’s Day programme in the US, which is focused on promoting trade, tourism and investment-related activity with Ireland.
The Tánaiste will travel firstly to Atlanta, Georgia, where he will host an ‘Invest in Ireland’ business forum for IDA client and target companies.
While there, he will also brief senior management from Coca-Cola and UPS – both major Irish employers – on recent positive economic developments in Ireland, promote ‘The Gathering’ at an event with Delta Airlines and visit Georgia Tech (University)to discuss collaboration with Irish third-level institutions and researchers.
The Tánaiste will conduct a cultural programme in New Orleans on St. Patrick’s Day where he will meet with a newly-established network of Irish-born professionals and deliver a keynote address to the Hibernian Society.
On Monday, March 18th the Tánaiste will travel to Washington D.C.to for a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry during which they will discuss the situation in Northern Ireland, US immigration reform, plans for an EU-US Trade Agreement and international issues including the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The Tánaiste will also join the Taoiseach at the White House on March 19th where they will hold a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama.
Meetings with other key members of the US Senate around the issue of comprehensive immigration reform and undocumented Irish people in the US are also planned.
Speaking ahead of his departure, the Tánaiste said:
“As our number-one export market and the source of 80 percent of all foreign direct investment to Ireland, North America was a key target for us in devising this year’s ministerial travel programme. The US south-east in particular is a priority area for us and Atlanta is very much the economic engine of the region. A lot of the growth in the US over the next 20 years will take place in the south-east.
“This is another opportunity to highlight the progress that has been made in restoring Ireland’s international reputation and putting the economy back on a sustainable path.
“I look forward to working with our Embassy network and the state agencies, Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia, to help promote trade, tourism and investment-related activity with Ireland.”
The Tánaiste is one of 19 ministers travelling to 21 countries to take part in over 150 business events and 30 high-level political meetings as part of St Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme.