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Minister Costello’s remarks at closing event of Mexico – Dublin Business Conference

Minister Joe Costello, Trade, Speech, Latin America, Ireland, 2014


Speech by Minister for Trade and Development, Mr Joe Costello, T.D.

Mexico-Dublin Business Conference

Check Against Delivery

Iveagh House

May 2nd 2014


Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Oisín Quinn

Sr Secretario de Economía, Licenciado Ildefonso Guajardo

Sr Presidente Municipal de Guadalajara, Ingeniero Ramiro Hernández

Sr Director General de ProMexico, Licenciado Francisco González

Sr Secretario de Innovación, Ciencia y Tecnología del Gobierno de Jalisco, Maestro Jaime Reyes

Embajador Carlos García de Alba

Embajadora Sonja Hyland

Señoras y Señores

Me gustaría darles una muy cálida bienvenida a Iveagh House, el sede del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Comercio de Irlanda.

Esta noche, nuestra casa es su casa.


Over the years this building has hosted visiting dignitaries from all over the world. This evening, on behalf of the Irish Government, I am delighted to extend a warm Irish welcome to Secretario Guajardo and to all of our Mexican friends who have done us the honour of spending time with us this week. 

I would also like to welcome our Irish guests: the Lord Mayor, representatives of Dublin City Council, of Irish trade promotion agencies and, in particular, representatives of Irish businesses.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to address you this evening, at the close of what has been a highly successful conference. I feel sure that the contacts made this week will support the positive trend of strengthening the ties between Ireland and Mexico.

My interest in Mexico is strong. I have been fortunate to have visited Mexico twice in the last six months. I had the honour of accompanying the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, on his official visit to Mexico in October last year. On that visit, I was able to witness the dynamic and growing commercial sector in Mexico, and indeed I had the pleasure of meeting Secretario Guajardo, as well as visiting Guadalajara as well as Mexico City.

Last month I led a visit on trade and development issues to Mexico. I met with more Irish companies that have successfully established themselves in Mexico, and also with Mexican partners of Irish companies.

Indeed, my attachment to Mexico – and my conviction about Mexico’s positive prospects – is such that I look forward to supporting Mexico’s El Tri during the World Cup – Vamos Mexico!

Queridos Amigos


I know that in Mexico, as in Ireland, personal relationships are important. Irish companies do business around the world and part of the feedback that we get is that the Irish excel at making connections. We like to develop business relations that are professional but that also involve an element of connectedness, of friendship.

I know that Mexican people share this approach to life and to work. I have visited your country and I have experienced the warmth of your welcome and engagement. It is clear to me that Mexican and Irish people relate well to each other.

That this is so is positive and also, in a business sense, it is a real competitive advantage. We understand each other, and we can channel this understanding into business where we can produce strong results.

Next year Ireland and Mexico will celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations.  Our Ambassadors – Ambassador García de Alba representing Mexico in Ireland and Ambassador Hyland representing Ireland in Mexico – will, I know, be busy availing of this opportunity to celebrate the great progress made in our relations in that time, and also – importantly – to encourage further clear deliverables.

In our commemorations of 40 years of diplomatic relations, we will also of course be recalling the much longer legacy of people to people contacts between our two countries. We will recall connections between our two countries such as the gallant service to Mexico of the Batallón San Patricio, and other links between our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mexico is our largest trading partner in Latin America. Trade between Ireland and Mexico is now valued at over 1 billion euro annually. Irish exports to Mexico in 2013 were almost three times the value of our exports there in 2000. Mexico has been a strong focus for Irish investment, particularly from the agri-food sector, but increasingly, in recent times, from other sectors also.

I am convinced that there are tremendous opportunities for increasing our ties.

I look forward to Ireland’s trade promotion agencies including IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and Science Foundation Ireland working with ProMexico and Mexican business in pursuing opportunities.

Later this year, I look forward to returning to Mexico to lead an Enterprise Ireland trade mission. I hope to see more and more Irish companies looking to Mexico as a location for their products and services, and as a gateway to your region.

I hope that Ireland can make a similar offer to Mexico, and that we can be your Gateway to Europe – Su Puerta de Entrada a Europa.


As you will have heard during this week’s conference, Ireland’s economy is recovering strongly. We have exited our bailout programme and returned to the bond markets. We are creating some 5,000 jobs a month. We are home to the world’s leading companies in areas such as ICT and pharmaceuticals.

This is a tribute to the attitude of the Irish people and the ongoing efforts made to make Ireland an attractive place for investment. Ireland, and our Government, is committed to continuing the policies and regulatory environment that have led to us being recognised by Forbes as the best country in the world to do business.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I understand that we are joined here this evening by the first group of Mexican tourists to travel under a TURISSSTE package, an innovative international social tourism initiative.

Me gustaría extenderles una cálida bienvenida.

I would also like in particular to welcome the family members of our Mexico conference delegates who are with us here this evening.

We hope that you have enjoyed your stay in Dublin.

Bienvenidos a Irlanda! Espero que pasen una estadía muy bonita aquí.

Before concluding, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Oisín Quinn, and his team at Dublin City Council for hosting this Conference. In so doing, the Lord Mayor demonstrated his strong commitment to promoting the interests of Dublin and his conviction that Mexico, and other markets in Latin America offer opportunities for the people of Dublin.

We are also very appreciative to the sponsors of the conference who, in supporting this event, are demonstrating their conviction that great further potential exists between our countries.

Finally, I know that Monday is El Cinco de Mayo, a day of Mexican celebration, in particular by Mexicans abroad. I hope that you will take this opportunity to celebrate this here in Ireland and to add a little colour to your surroundings. I think you’ll find that your Irish hosts will embrace the celebration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Señoras y Señores

I take great pleasure in inviting Sr Secretario de Economía, Licenciado Ildefonso Guajardo to speak on behalf of our Mexican guests.

Muchísimas Gracias. Thank You.