Minister Costello attends Asian Gaelic Games and Asia Pacific-Ireland Business Forum in Malaysia27 October 2012
At the 6th Annual Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello, T.D. delivered a key note address to a gathering of 200 Irish business leaders from Asia and the Gulf region. The Forum brought together participants from Irish Chambers of Commerce in 12 different countries to this important business networking event. The Forum takes place in conjunction with the Asian Gaelic Games which are also underway this weekend in Kuala Lumpur. Minister Costello formally launched the Games on Friday and attended the first day of the games today.
Speaking at the Asian Gaelic Games, Minister Costello said:
"Seeing over a thousand young people gathered here in Kuala Lumpur to play Ireland's national sports is inspiring. They have travelled from throughout Asia and the Gulf region to participate in what is a unique event. This event highlights their interest and dedication to Gaelic games and it is also a fantastic showcase for Ireland and Irish culture. I met and saw teams in action today who brought great enthusiasm and energy, including the Viet Celts and the Singapore Gaelic Lions. Irish men, women and children and their friends from Abu Dhabi to Mongolia to Tokyo were enjoying the fun and competitive spirit of the Games. In my meetings and participation in the business Forum yesterday the same energy and determination was in evidence from the Irish business leaders in the region"
Minister Costello gave the keynote address at the Asia Pacific Irish Business Forum, which brought together 200 Irish business people from the Asian, Pacific and Gulf regions. The Minister emphasised the importance of exports to Ireland's economic recovery, with Asian markets accounting for over 12 billion euro of merchandise exports from Ireland last year.
Minister Costello said:
"Ireland needs to build long term relationships with Asian countries. The Government's commitment to this has been evidenced by the number of visits by my colleagues to the region over the past year. The work being done on the ground by our Embassies and State agencies is very important and the networks and connections that Irish business and people can assist us in building are invaluable."
In a meeting with the representatives of 12 Irish Chambers of Commerce from the region, the Minister conveyed the Government's strong support for their key role in promoting trade and investment links between their host countries and Ireland. During his visit to Malaysia, Minister Costello attended events to mark the 25th anniversary of the ESBI (ESB International) in Malaysia and held meetings with his Ministerial counterparts. He also visited the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland) campus at Perdana University.
Minister Costello will be travelling on from Malaysia to Vietnam, a priority country for Irish Aid, the Government's development assistance programme.