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Tánaiste stresses Government focus on Asia


Three new diplomatic missions to open across region in Autumn

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, has said the Government is committed to deepening Ireland's critical relationship with Asia, which is worth €23 billion in trade terms.

The Tánaiste said the recent announcement of three new missions - right across the region in Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Jakarta - illustrated the cross-government focus on growing trade and tourism with this important economic area. He also drew attention to the growing people-to-people links between Ireland and Asia, particularly the strong and growing Irish communities there and the increasing number of young Asians coming to study in Ireland.

During a keynote address to delegates at the Asia Business Week in Dublin, he said:

“There is a growing awareness that this century will be the Asian century, and the Government has demonstrated our commitment to building relations with Asia by deciding to open three new diplomatic missions, in Indonesia, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

“Establishing an Embassy in Indonesia is, to be frank, long overdue as it was the only G20 country where we were not represented, and is already a hugely important regional actor, as well as a country of 250m people. Hong Kong, which is also a vital regional hub, similarly gives us direct access to a huge market in the world’s largest urban area – the Pearl River Delta.

“While Thailand has seen upheaval in recent weeks, and the situation is of obvious concern, we remain committed to strengthening our relationship with the people and the country, which the Embassy will achieve, as well as boosting trade links.

“Ireland exported over €15 billion in goods and services to Asia in 2012 and imported close to €8 billion. These figures form a crucial part of an overall export performance that has underpinned Ireland’s economic recovery, and laid the basis for sustained employment growth over the past two years.”

The Tánaiste was speaking at the EU-Asia Top Economist Round Table event, to an audience of Asian, Irish, and international economists, business representatives, and civic leaders. His speech is included below. The conference took place in the Mansion House as part of Asia Business Week organised by Asia Matters. Further details:

Read An Tánaiste's Address at Asia Business Week 2014



Press Office

6 June 2014