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Our trade role

Ireland is open for business and the Government is committed to supporting export growth and encouraging inward investment. Our Embassy network is ideally placed to promote Ireland’s economic and trade interests overseas and contribute towards our economic recovery.

Pictured at the 2015 launch of both the Saint Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme and the Enterprise Ireland annual trade mission/event programme at the offices of Enterprise Ireland client company ding*: Minister Flanagan with Minister Bruton; Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO; and Mark English, ding* COO.

Our trade objectives

Ireland’s trade strategy

The Government Trade Strategy sets out concrete targets in trade, tourism and investment to be met by 2015 as well as a programme of actions to achieve these targets. A review of the strategy was published in February 2014. We work closely with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) and other Departments and State agencies in implementing this strategy.

We aim to promote growth and jobs at home by co-operating closely with the State agencies to promote Irish trade, tourism and inward investment.

Trade policy, which deals with the regulation of imports and exports, is dealt with by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Promoting Ireland abroad and sharing the Government's economic message is central to the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and our Embassy network. Our Ambassadors play a key role in chairing Local Market Teams to ensure a coordinated approach in priority markets, and we work with the following State agencies, which are using their expertise to help people do business with Ireland:

Export Trade Council

We coordinate the work of the Export Trade Council, which is responsible for monitoring the Government Trade Strategy.

The Council meets at plenary level twice a year and is chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, TD.

Other Council members include:

Joint Economic Commissions

We’re responsible for organising and chairing Ireland’s Joint Economic Commissions (JECs) with high-growth and emerging market countries. Ireland has separate JECs with China, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

These meetings aim to increase trade and investment and to develop economic, business, scientific and technological co-operation. They are usually held every two years.

Trade missions

Trade missions are a valuable way of developing new and existing markets overseas for Irish businesses. This is particularly important given the value of exports to our economy. We work with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to support Enterprise Ireland’s programme of trade missions, which in 2014, includes 18 Ministerial-led visits to developed and high-growth markets. Minister Flanagan and the respective Ministers of State play important roles in supporting Irish companies by leading a number of these trade missions overseas.

The promotion of Irish trade and investment also featured significantly in other high level visits throughout the year, including for example, the State visits by the President to the UK and China in April and December, respectively and visits abroad by the Taoiseach and Cabinet Ministers.

In addition, the promotion and expansion of trade between Ireland and Africa is an important priority of our Africa Strategy, in line also with the overall Government Trade Strategy.


See below a small selection of results brought about by strong Local Market Team and HQ coordination: