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Priority Markets and upcoming trade missions top agenda of Export Trade Council

Priority Markets and upcoming trade missions top agenda as Minister Flanagan Leads Export Trade Council Discussions

Ireland’s continued progress in priority markets and upcoming trade missions will be on the agenda for discussion at a meeting of the Export Trade Council (ETC) taking place today (Tuesday) in Iveagh House under the chairmanship of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D.

Implementation reports from Local Market Teams, chaired by Irish Ambassadors in Ireland’s priority markets will be reviewed. The Teams are key to the success of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy and have been instrumental in increasing exports to and investment from our priority markets. The Council will also consider the Local Market Plans for 2015 which will further enhance cooperation and coordination across all Government Departments and State agencies involved in the promotion of trade, tourism, investment and education.

Another core item on the ETC agenda is an overview of trade and promotional travel for 2015, including the programme of overseas Ministerial-led trade missions and the trade and investment-focussed programme of Ministerial travel for St. Patrick’s Day. Yesterday (Monday) Minister Flanagan launched the St Patrick’s Day programme 2015 which involves Government representatives visiting 45 cities in 27 countries to promote trade, tourism, investment, education, innovation and culture.

Speaking before the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:

“The Export Trade Council, a key Programme for Government commitment, is a central plank of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy. Today’s meeting is an opportunity for Ministers, heads of State agencies and representatives of the private sector to come together to oversee the implementation of the strategy.

“A key objective is to assess progress of Local Market Teams, chaired by our Ambassadors in our priority markets. Among the many outcomes of Local Market Team efforts in 2014 was the work that went towards regaining access for Irish beef to the US and Chinese markets, after a ban lasting 15 years.

“I will be joined today by five other Ministers and the heads of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. Private sector members of the Council, including IBEC, the Irish Exporters Association and a number of business people with expertise in the promotion of trade and attraction of investment will also add their expertise to the trade and investment focused discussions. The ETC provides a valuable interface for Government Departments, State agencies and the private sector and I look forward to a useful discussion this afternoon.”

The establishment of an Export Trade Council was a Programme for Government commitment, delivered in 2011, to strengthen cooperation and coordination across all Government Departments and State agencies involved in the promotion of trade, tourism and inward investment.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, is the newest member of the ETC, reflecting the growing contribution of education services to the Irish economy. The contribution of education was also recognised through the inclusion of a numerical target for education in the Review of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, published in 2014.

ENDS

Press Office
24 February 2015