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Tánaiste publishes Ireland’s Economic Diplomacy in Action, 2013


The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., has published the first annual report of the economic and promotional work undertaken abroad by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Ireland’s Economic Diplomacy in Action 2013 details the economic and promotional work undertaken by Ireland’s 56 embassies, 7 multilateral missions and 10 consulates around the world last year. The report shows how the diplomatic network continues to play a crucial role in supporting the Government’s strategy to increase trade, tourism and investment in Ireland.

On publication of the report, the Tánaiste said:

“Economic diplomacy is at the heart of the work carried out by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  It has been vital to restoring our international reputation and supporting the economy in what has been an export-led recovery.

The task of our diplomats around the world has been to advance Ireland’s economic and strategic interests, rehabilitate our international reputation in the wake of the crisis, coordinate Ireland’s promotional efforts across the globe, assist Irish exporters, recruit friends and allies including from the Diaspora, showcase Ireland’s strengths, and, in doing so, support economic growth and jobs back at home in Ireland.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is placing an increasing focus on the world’s emerging economies. For example, in 2013, the Department coordinated six visits by Government ministers to China, as well as supporting the largest ever tourism sales mission to China and a major campaign to attract international students from Brazil, resulting in ten times more Brazilian students coming to Ireland in 2013 than in 2010.

With new embassies now being established for the first time in the fast-growing economies of Thailand (Bangkok) and Indonesia (Jakarta) and Consulates General in the financial and business hubs of Hong Kong (China) and São Paulo (Brazil), and in the booming tech hub of Austin, Texas (USA), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to build on this work in 2014.

The Tánaiste added:

“Last week I announced the opening of five new embassies and three new consulates general across key markets in South East Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. This will allow us to take advantage of opportunities in key emerging markets and regions, and will provide a platform for further promotion of Irish exports, investment, tourism and education.

This report also highlights the high level of cooperation between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland, other State agencies and Government Departments in delivering increased trade, tourism and investment in Ireland”

In 2013, working in close coordination with the State agencies and other Government Departments, Ireland’s embassy network:

  • Secured renewed market access for Irish products to nine international markets, including China (Irish seafood), Japan (Irish beef), Australia (Irish pig meat) and the Gulf region (Irish beef and sheep meat) with a combined population of 1.5 billion
  • Coordinated over 650 events to promote Irish tourism and ‘The Gathering’ from its worldwide launch in March 2012
  • Organised 70 focussed company engagements, as well as business events involving over 8,500 Irish and international company representatives, during the 2013 St Patrick’s Day period alone
  • Coordinated the work of Government and State agencies in each of Ireland’s 27 priority markets set out in the Government’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy. (Since 2011, the Ambassador in each priority market chairs a Local Market Team comprising IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland staff to develop a coordinated trade, tourism and investment plan for Ireland in the market.)
  • Engaged with more than 1,150 representatives of international media to brief on Ireland’s economic recovery and promote Ireland as a destination for trade and investment. Positive media coverage reached more than 50 million people
  • Lobbied, influenced and negotiated for Ireland on issues that could impact our economic interests, including organising over 660 meetings to promote Ireland’s economic positions to office-holders.  During the 2013 St Patrick’s Day period alone, private bilateral meetings were held with US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, US Secretary of State John Kerry and many more government ministers, members of the US Houses of Congress, national parliamentarians and decision-makers across the world.
  • Public diplomacy - directly promoted Ireland to audiences of over 778,000 around the world
  • Undertook more than 730 engagements designed to increase trade and investment in Ireland and support Irish jobs
  • Organised 136 visits with a significant economic or promotional dimension by government ministers or members of the Oireachtas to 52 countries. These high-level visits were designed to increase trade and investment in Ireland and support Ireland’s economic recovery.

In addition, the number of ministerial-led Enterprise Ireland trade missions, all organised with the support of the Embassy network, has more than doubled over the past two years – up from eight in 2011 and 16 in 2012 to a record number of 18 last year.



Press Office

02 February 2014



The report is a summary document based on the reporting of embassies, consulates and multilateral missions through 2013.  There were no costs associated with the production of the report.

Ireland’s diplomatic network currently comprises 56 Embassies, 7 multilateral missions (including to the United Nations and the European Union) and 10 Consulates General and other offices. Through them, we maintain diplomatic relations with 176 states.

Ireland’s Embassies and Consulates General work very closely with the State agencies, including Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland, to promote exports, tourism and inward investment.

The new Embassies and Consulates General announced previously are as follows:


  • Thailand (Bangkok)
  • Indonesia (Jakarta)
  • Croatia (Zagreb)
  • Kenya (Nairobi)
  • The Holy See

Consulates General

  • Hong Kong, China
  • Austin, Texas, the US
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil

The cost of establishing the new missions is expected to come to a net €4.7 million annually, and will be covered from within the existing Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade budget. The new embassies and consulates will be small in size, ranging from one to three diplomatic staff.

Both embassies and consulates represent our Government within another country. Embassies are located in the capital of a country and headed by an Ambassador. Embassies focus on political and economic relations with the host country, as well as trade and consular assistance.

A Consulate General is a smaller representative office which carries out similar work in promoting trade and providing services to Irish citizens, particularly in large countries where Ireland has significant interests.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is leading a Review of the Government Strategy for Trade, Tourism and Investment in close collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and other Government Departments and State Agencies involved in promoting trade, tourism and investment.

The Review, which will be presented in the near future by the Tánaiste, is designed to ensure that the State continues to coordinate its efforts overseas in a manner which yields the best possible economic return.