New “Scottish Hub” team in Dublin is good news – Minister Flanagan19 June 2015
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, today described as a very positive development the announcement in Dublin by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, that she intends to establish for the first time a dedicated “Scottish Hub” in Ireland. The Hub, which will be based in the British Embassy in Dublin, will work on enhancing relations between Ireland and Scotland and will focus in particular on trade and investment.
This announcement comes as an additional Irish diplomat is to be assigned to the Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh later this summer.
The Minister stated:
“The First Minister and I had discussed this idea when I visited Edinburgh in February of this year and saw firsthand the potential for further enhanced links on a variety of fronts, ranging from trade and investment to education, research and cultural co-operation.
“The UK is Ireland’s most important trade partner, with two-way business valued at € 1 billion per week. Within the framework of the British-Irish relationship, Ireland’s links with Scotland are particularly important. The Irish and Scottish economies have much in common, being open and diverse with growth closely linked to performances in terms of exports and tourism.
“Latest figures show that Enterprise Ireland client companies achieved at least €270 million in exports to Scotland in 2013. The products and services supplied by these Irish companies are diverse in nature, while construction services, electronics and clean technologies are the leading exports accounting for almost 50% of this figure.
“Scotland accounts for 10% of visits from Great Britain to Ireland and potential for tourism growth is strong.
“I am delighted too to be able to assign an additional diplomatic officer to the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh. The increased resources there and in Dublin will help enormously as we seek to build on the work of recent years."
The Minister added that he had also spoken by phone yesterday with First Minister Sturgeon’s Scottish Government colleague, Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP.
19 June 2015
Notes for editors
1. During his February 2015 visit to Scotland, Minister Flanagan met with three Enterprise Ireland client companies with operations in Scotland, AGEC, Coastway Surveys and Clandillon Consulting, all expanding companies in the geo-surveying and engineering sectors.
2. Overall, the level of business exchange between Ireland and Scotland is robust and growing. Irish companies such as AIB, Bank of Ireland, Glennon Brothers, Sisk, Roadbridge and many others are heavily engaged in generating business and jobs in Scotland. In all, more than 250 indigenous Irish companies are exporting goods and services to Scotland. In Ireland, Scottish-based companies like SSE - Scottish and Southern Electricity - which owns Airtricity, are making a significant contribution to the economy.
3. A Low Carbon economy is also very much a part of Ireland’s bilateral agenda with Scotland and it is hoped to see particular growth in trade, investment, and collaborative research in this area. There is great potential synergy between the business sectors of Scotland and Ireland in the fields of renewable energy, clean-tech, water and waste treatment, and other sustainable technologies.
4. There is also scope and demand for greater research collaboration across our university sectors and linking higher education institutions with industry. Work is ongoing to explore and identify concrete ways in which Ireland and Scotland can collaborate in the context of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, building on the strong connections between research communities.