Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe T.D., is in New Delhi today and tomorrow (11th and 12th November) representing Ireland at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting of Foreign Ministers (ASEM FMM 11).
This Meeting is taking place with all Ministers keenly aware of, and deeply saddened by, the tragic loss of life in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
In expressing sympathy and solidarity at the Meeting, Minister Donohoe welcomed discussion today between the Philippines and ASEM Ministers regarding the coordination of relief efforts, noting Ireland’s contribution of €1m euro. The Minister will also meet with the delegation from the Philippines to discuss the response to the disaster and to express Ireland’s support.
ASEM is unique in that it is the only inter-regional forum which brings together Asian and European countries.
Developing closer links with Asia remains a priority for the Irish Government and the attendance by Minister Donohoe at the Meeting underlines this commitment. Together, the 51 ASEM countries represent half of the world’s GDP, two thirds of the world’s population and almost two thirds of global trade.
Speaking at the Meeting, Minister Donohoe said:
“Ireland and Irish companies have a long history of success in the Asian market but there is significant potential remaining. With growth rates in Asia out-performing much of the rest of the world, developing our trade, and political, links with Asia remains a priority for the Government.”
In his address to the Meeting, Minister Donohoe underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation to revive global growth, stating that:
“Actions to promote further market opening need to be accompanied by appropriate complementary policies in order to maximise the potential economic benefits of greater trade liberalisation and more open markets.
We in Ireland have made significant efforts to improve competitiveness and to enhance innovation in our economy…actively creating new trade and investment links with countries worldwide is vital.”
Over the course of the two days, the Ministers will discuss a wide-range of issues with a focus on the challenges and opportunities of economic growth and sustainable development.
Minister Donohoe will also meet separately with the Ministers from India, Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar to discuss their relationship with Ireland and ways in which political, economic and people-to-people links can be further developed.