Tánaiste to focus on trade, investment and Irish emigrants during visit to Canada15 March 2012
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D. will visit Canada from 16-18 March over the St. Patrick’s Day period for what will be the most high profile visit by a member of the Government to that country in almost 8 years.
The visit is part of a major effort to re-invigorate Ireland’s relationship with Canada and to demonstrate the enormous economic potential that exists between the two countries.
Speaking ahead of his departure to Montreal and Toronto the Tánaiste said:
“Canada is the world’s 7th largest economy and the rich historical and cultural connections we share place Ireland in an ideal position to benefit from the growing trade and investment opportunities that exist. We have a solid base from which to build - total trade in 2011 stood at €1.6billion; Ireland is the 5thlargest recipient of Canadian foreign direct investment; 60 Irish companies have a presence in Canada employing over 6,000 Canadians; while 80 Canadian companies are located in Ireland.
The economic message during my visit will be clear - now is the opportunity for Canada to invest in Ireland’s economic recovery.
My visit will also highlight the Government’s support and engagement with recently arrived Irish emigrants as well as the more longstanding members of the Irish community in Canada. I will open the new Irish Canadian Immigration Centre in Toronto, which will actively support our emigrants. At the same time, I will convey to them that this Government is committed to seizing economic opportunities abroad to help deliver economic recovery at home and to create new employment opportunities for those who have left to return to.
The Tánaiste’s programme will include:
· an IDA supported investment meeting with members of the Montreal Board of Trade;
· an address to the St Patrick’s Society of Montreal annual luncheon, attended by over 500 of the city’s most influential political, business and community leaders;
· a meeting on Irish third level education links at university with Irish Studies Programme;
· a meeting with the Premier of Quebec, Jean Charest.
· meetings with the Federal Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney;
· the launch of the Government’s Certificate of Irish Heritage programme in Canada including a presentation to the former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin;
· a meeting with the members of the Global Irish Network and senior business contacts;
· an Enterprise Ireland supported event for EI clients and their Canadian customers and members of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce
· the official opening of the Ireland Canadian Immigration Centre, which receives support through the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme.