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Tánaiste announces 7 new Missions in next phase of Global Ireland

Diplomatic Relations, International Relations, Ireland, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Press Releases, Ireland, 2018

Tánaiste announces 7 new Missions in next phase of Global Ireland

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, has announced that Ireland will open 7 new Missions (Embassies or Consulates) as part of the next phase of expanding Ireland’s global footprint. The new Missions will be in Europe (Cardiff, Frankfurt, Kiev), Asia (Manila), North Africa (Rabat), Africa (Monrovia) and North America (Los Angeles).

Speaking at today’s launch of “Global Ireland”, the Government’s initiative on expanding and deepening our presence overseas, the Tánaiste said:

“As Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the value of our networks abroad to the prosperity and wellbeing of our citizens has always been clear to me. 

Our Mission network, made up of 80 Embassies, Consulates, and Representations, is modest by international standards. I believe it is prudent and wise to invest now in that global presence. This plan will extend the consular network that supports and protects Irish citizens and serves Irish communities abroad.  

The Global Ireland strategy sets out new commitments to deepen our engagement with EU partners, extend our support to Irish businesses and allow us play a full role in addressing global challenges. Beginning in 2019 we will open new Consulates General in Frankfurt, Los Angeles, and Cardiff, and Embassies in Ukraine, Morocco, and the Philippines within a tight timeframe thereafter. Our development cooperation office in Liberia will also be upgraded to a full Embassy.

It is important too that we strengthen in key locations where we already have a presence. That’s why we are augmenting our Embassies in Rome, Madrid, Warsaw and The Hague, as we have already done in Paris and Berlin. 

These increased resources abroad will help Ireland play our full role in addressing global challenges, while also meeting our moral obligations as global citizens.  That’s why we are seeking a seat on the UN Security Council and it’s why we plan to rapidly scale up our spending on Overseas Development Assistance towards 0.7% of GNI, as also signalled in the strategy launched today.

I am very pleased that Global Ireland sets out clear targets for Government to take forward this vital work. Our diplomatic network has proven its value to the State through the decades - notably during the recent economic downturn and now as we grapple with the challenges of Brexit. Investing in our global presence in the coming years will help safeguard our economic and political wellbeing long into the future.”




Note for Editors:

  • Last autumn, the Government announced the opening of six new offices - Embassies in Chile, Colombia, Jordan and New Zealand, and Consulates General in Vancouver and Mumbai. These offices will offer us significant new opportunities for trade, investment, political cooperation, and the promotion of the values we espouse. Work on this is well advanced and these new missions will all be opened by early 2019.
  • The Mission openings announced today will deepen our impact across priority regions, including opening up new markets for trade and investment. These Embassies or Consulates are primarily located in countries that present significant trading opportunities for Irish business.
  • We also recognise that a deepened footprint will enable us to better shape and influence international events in our interests.  It will allow us to play a more active role in supporting and promoting a rules-based international environment.
  • Additional considerations attaching to this expansion are set out below.
  • An Irish government presence in the devolved regions of the UK will be of greater importance post-Brexit and the establishment of a consulate in Cardiff will facilitate the strengthening of both political and commercial ties in Wales, our close neighbour.
  • Germany is a critical partner for Ireland in the EU and a key economic partner, increasingly so in a post Brexit context. There are some 199 banks in Frankfurt and 7,900 financial services enterprises. An Irish Consulate in Frankfurt will focus on building relationships, identifying opportunities and developing Ireland’s economic reputation and interests, including promoting national strategies such as the IFS 2020. 
  • The opening of a Consulate General in Los Angeles will facilitate the development of high level business, community and political contacts in this strategic hub. 40 percent of the foreign direct investment to Ireland from the US comes from the west coast region and strengthening our presence on the ground will open up new opportunities for investment and job creation. 
  • A new Embassy in Rabat will enable us to develop trade opportunities, especially in the agri-food sector, agricultural machinery, and renewable energy. Ireland currently is one of the few EU Member States without a presence in North Africa, a strategically significant region on Europe’s borders and an important partner.
  • The new Embassy in Kiev will give us direct and reliable analysis of highly complex political developments in Ukraine and their wider geopolitical implications - one of the EU’s most pressing foreign policy concerns. Since 2016 there has been a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) in place, liberalising EU/Ukraine trade in goods and services.  A key objective of the new Mission will be to increase our bilateral trade and economic links in the coming years under the opportunities created by the DCFTA.
  • An embassy in Manila will support efforts to increase market access, in particular for agri-business products and developing relationships in a high potential market with a population of over 100 million. Manila is also the seat of the Asian Development Bank of which Ireland is a member. 
  • The Government has also agreed to establish a resident Diplomatic Mission to the Republic of Liberia, demonstrating Ireland’s commitment to create and maintain meaningful relationships in West Africa and facilitating greater oversight of the important Irish Aid programme in Liberia.