Tánaiste meets President Hollande and Prime Minister Ayrault in Paris14 March 2014
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., met with the French President, Francois Hollande, in Paris this morning for discussions on the economy and Europe-wide elections to the European Parliament in May.
The Tánaiste and President Hollande discussed leadership changes in the EU institutions which will see Martin Schulz and José Manuel Barroso replaced as presidents of the European Parliament and European Commission, respectively, in mid-2014.
Earlier, the Tánaiste met with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to discuss the economic situation in Europe, and other EU-related issues including the completion of Banking Union.
“I had a very good meeting with President Hollande and Prime Minister Ayrault. We discussed the very strong relationship between Ireland and France. France is our fourth largest trading partner and second largest market for food and drink.
“We also discussed economic progress in Ireland, particularly the growth in employment numbers,” the Tánaiste said.
The Tánaiste is visiting France for a three-day programme of trade and investment-focused events aimed at boosting economic and political ties between the two countries.
This afternoon, he led 12 Enterprise Ireland client companies on a site visit to multinational agricultural machinery group, AGCO, near Beauvais. AGCO’s best-known brand is Massey Ferguson.
AGCO Beauvais is France’s largest tractor production site and the country’s top exporter of agricultural machinery. The visit to the site - where tractors are designed and built for sale across Europe and elsewhere - is designed to develop opportunities for Irish engineering companies to supply components.
The Tánaiste said: “Irish engineering companies are recognised globally for quality, innovation and responsiveness. There are excellent opportunities for these highly innovative Irish companies to expand their business globally and create jobs at home. The companies participating in this visit already employ 2,000 people in regional areas of Ireland and today’s visit is about building on that success.”
Tomorrow, the Tánaiste will represent the Irish Government at the Ireland – France Six Nations match at the Stade de France. Prior to the match, he will meet with members of the Franco-Irish business group, Network Irlande, and Enterprise Ireland companies with business interests in France, for a networking event at the Embassy of Ireland.
14 March 2014