Tánaiste launches Review of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy24 February 2014
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., today launched the Review of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, which sets out a ‘new market approach’ for Ireland’s 27 priority markets and updates targets for growth in exports, investment, tourism and jobs.
The Tánaiste was joined at the launch by members of the Export Trade Council, including Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, T.D., and Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D.
The Review’s key recommendations are:
- the establishment of a ‘new market approach’ by disaggregating Ireland’s 27 priority markets to ensure that Ireland engages with high-growth markets in Asia, South America and Africa
- the inclusion, for the first time, of a 2015 target of €900 million for the international education sector in recognition of its growing economic contribution
- the maintenance of existing targets for the creation of 150,000 new jobs directly associated with exporting enterprises, a 33% increase in exports by State agency-assisted companies and 780 new inward investment projects through IDA Ireland, should be maintained
Speaking at today’s launch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Tánaiste said:
“Creating more and better jobs is the Government’s first priority. This Review will help to ensure that the resources of the State – both the embassy network and State agencies – are positioned to deliver maximum overall benefit for the economy, meaning good jobs for our people at home.
The Review includes a ‘new market approach’ which recognises markets deemed to be of crucial importance, designating them ‘High Value Markets’; a group of other ‘Established and Developing Markets’ and, finally, a number of ‘Exploratory and High Potential Markets’ where Ireland will be looking for new opportunities in the future. These include Turkey, Nigeria, Mexico, Vietnam and Chile, along with Indonesia and Thailand, where I recently announced that my Department will open two new embassies later this year.
As chair of the Export Trade Council, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Strategy, I am pleased to officially launch this Review together with the other members of the Council. I would like to thank all those whose constructive engagement was vital in producing this document.”
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D., said:
“Exports are at the heart of our jobs plan. We inherited a broken economy based heavily on debt and property – we are in the process of building a new economy based on exports and enterprise, and in the past two years the exporting sectors have added more than 20,000 extra jobs. I am determined to ensure that we continue the systematic, brick-by-brick approach to rebuilding our exports and our competitiveness that we have taken in the past three years. With the right supports for our agencies, and the right support for exporters, we can continue the trends we have seen in the past two years and create the employment we need.”
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said:
“This Review keeps tourism at the heart of Government plans for recovery. It shows various arms of Government are working together to promote Ireland overseas. This Government’s early initiatives on tourism, like the special 9% VAT rate for tourism products, have helped the industry to enter recovery. Despite the impact of huge job losses up to 2011, tourism is playing a key role in growing employment, with significant job growth in the hospitality sector. This is thanks to the success of The Gathering and other measures.
“The tourism policy review for later this year will set out where Irish tourism should go beyond 2015, well into the next decade. It will build on the shift in focus in this review from just measuring the numbers arriving in Ireland to the jobs and revenue they generate in the economy.”
Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D. said:
“I would like to welcome the launch of the Review and its focus on coordinating our work abroad to maximise our ability to win business overseas and create jobs at home. I saw the tangible results of strong coordination on my recent trade mission to South Africa and Nigeria, organised by Enterprise Ireland in close collaboration with our embassies in Pretoria and Abuja.
“During the trade mission, contracts and commitments worth over €7 million were signed and I officially opened the new co-located offices of Enterprise Ireland and ESBI in Johannesburg. The inclusion of Nigeria in ‘Exploratory and High Potential Markets’ and the opening of an embassy in Kenya reinforce the work my Department is carrying out, guided by our Africa Strategy, to deepen our political, economic and development partnerships with this rapidly growing and diverse continent.”
The Tánaiste was also joined at today’s launch by Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of Forfás, all members of the Export Trade Council, alongside senior representative of other State agencies that partake in Council meetings; Dermot Clohessy of IDA Ireland and Michael Murphy of Bord Bia.
The Review presents findings on a number of key areas. It provides an update to our numerical targets and re-aligns our list of priority sectors so that they dovetail with the Action Plan for Jobs.
The Review also introduces a ‘new market approach’, which disaggregates Ireland’s 27 priority markets under ’High Value Markets’, ‘Other Established and Developing Markets’ and – for the first time – ‘ Exploratory and High Potential Markets’ - to ensure that Ireland also engages with high growth markets in Asia, South America and Africa.
In order to achieve our targets, the Review provides a revised ‘action plan model’ to provide the best possible platform for companies and State agencies to win business overseas. These changes emphasise the coordination between embassies and State agencies in the field and our coordination here at home.
24 February 2014
Note for Editors:
The Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, “Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy”, was published in September 2010. The Strategy identified a number of high-level numerical targets for growth in exports, investment, tourism and jobs to the period to 2015 and sets out a 25-point Action Plan for achieving these targets. In addition, the Strategy included an analysis of global trends; sectors in which there are potential opportunities for Ireland in trade and investment; mature and high growth markets and potential opportunities for Ireland in some of these markets.
In January 2013, to take account of the significant developments since 2010, the Government decided to initiate a short, focused review of the Strategy. This decision was reiterated as an Action Point in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013.
The review took place in parallel to a number of other complimentary initiatives; the Action Plan for Jobs 2013/14, the Medium Term Economic Strategy, the International Education Review, the Public Consultation on Tourism Policy, among others.
The drafting of the review took account of detailed input from Departments, State agencies, the embassy network and local market teams in priority markets. Members of the private sector were also consulted through the Export Trade Council and at the Global Irish Economic Forum.
A Review Group was established comprising representatives of the relevant Government Departments and State agencies, chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the context of the Export Trade Council’s role in overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the Strategy. Terms of reference for the review were agreed at the first meeting in June and it had five meetings in total. Members of the Review Group engaged constructively throughout the process, leading to agreement on a number of areas and the finalisation of the text.
The Export Trade Council (ETC), which is chaired by An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D, was established in 2011 in order to strengthen cooperation and coordination across all Government departments and State agencies involved in the promotion of trade, tourism and inward investment. The ETC oversees the implementation of the Government’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, ‘Trading and Investment in a Smart Economy’, which was published in 2010.
The members of the Council include: Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, T.D., and Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D.
The State agencies that work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the embassy network in promoting trade, tourism and investment are also represented on the Council at CEO level: IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland and Forfás.
The private sector is also represented on the Council by IBEC and the Irish Exporters Association, as well as by a number of business people with a track record in the relevant sectors.
The Tánaiste recently published the first annual report of the economic and promotional work undertaken abroad by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Ireland’s Economic Diplomacy in Action 2013. The report shows how the embassy network continues to play a crucial role in supporting the Government’s Strategy to increase trade, tourism and investment in Ireland.