Tánaiste to discuss African trade opportunities with 120 Irish business leaders21 October 2012
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will address representatives of more than 120 Irish companies tomorrow (Monday, October 22nd) on trade and investment opportunities in Africa‘s agri-food, construction, information technology and pharmaceutical sectors.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s forum, which is hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in conjunction with the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the African Diplomatic Corps, the Tánaiste said:
“Africa is developing faster now than ever before. In the first years of the new Millennium, annual economic growth in Africa was almost 5%. And with this growth and development come opportunities for trade and a stronger role for Africa in world affairs.
“In sectors such as agri-food, ICT, construction and pharmaceuticals, Irish-based companies, who are amongst the world’s most successful exporters, will play a greater role in meeting Africa’s needs. The value of Irish food and drink exported to Nigeria alone rivals exports to China.”
Speakers at tomorrow’s forum include Niall Quinn, who will discuss his experience of doing business in Africa; Mr Youssof Ouedraogo, Special Adviser to the President of the African Development Bank and Dr Karan Sonpar from UCD. Glanbia and ESB International are among the 120 companies represented at the forum.
Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, who will open the forum, said: “Our Africa Strategy recognises that many African countries are driving their own development, but acknowledges that substantial challenges remain: high growth rates do not automatically end poverty and hunger, population growth and conflict can set back progress.
I have held many discussions with African Governments and businesspeople over the last year and the consistent message is that Africa is open for business. I am committed to exploring these opportunities and next month will lead a trade mission to South Africa and a mission to Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa to explore opportunities for two-way trade and investment”.
Four panels held during the forum will allow for indepth discussions on opportunities in agri-food, construction, education and information technology and pharmaceuticals.
- For further information or to request an interview, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 087-9099975 or the Department’s press office on 087 7788835
Notes to the editor
- The Africa Ireland Economic Forum will be held tomorrow at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School on Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin 4.
- A report published by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade last month showed that Irish companies are eligible to bid for up to €12 billion worth of contracts in Africa in four key sectors: energy and renewable energy, infrastructure, water and mining.
- The Africa Strategy: ‘Ireland and Africa: Our partnership with a changing continent’ is available at http://dfa.ie/uploads/documents/DCD/strategy_paper2.pdf
- Total Irish trade with Africa in 2011 was €1.8 billion. This accounts for exports to Africa worth €1.2 billion and imports from Africa for €662 million.