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Tánaiste to mark opening of new Irish consulate in Austin, Texas, with Texas Secretary of State

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., today met with the Secretary of State of Texas, Nandita Berry, to mark the opening of a new Irish consulate in Austin, Texas.

Secretary Berry is in Ireland leading a Texan business delegation on an Economic Development Mission.

During their meeting, the Tánaiste and Secretary Berry discussed new trade and investment opportunities ahead of the opening of the new consulate.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Tánaiste said:

“Texas is home to four of the fastest-growing cities in the US – Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. The consulate, which will officially open this summer, will position Ireland to take advantage of new opportunities both for Irish-owned enterprises doing business in the US and securing new inward investment.”

Today’s meeting follows the Tánaiste’s announcement earlier this year of a major expansion of Ireland’s diplomatic network abroad, to include five new embassies and three new consulates in cities across South East Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

The locations of the new missions were specifically designed to boost Irish trade and inward investment.

The Tánaiste added:

“Austin is known as ‘the Silicon Valley of the Future’ because of its focus on hi-tech, innovative start-ups. Ireland’s standing as one of the leading locations in the world for technology companies means that Austin is an ideal base from which to further develop our economic and investment links.

“I look forward to working to further develop the trade and investment flows between us and following up on the outcome of the Texas delegation’s visit here to Ireland this week”.   

Texas is the world’s 13th-largest economy, which was a key factor in the decision to locate a consulate in the Texas State capital and burgeoning tech hub, Austin.

Earlier this year, Enterprise Ireland also opened its first office in Austin. Both Enterprise Ireland and the IDA have client companies based in the region.

Almost two million residents in Texas have Irish ancestry making it one of the top five most populous Irish American States in the US.                 

 

ENDS

31 March 2014

Press Office

 

Notes to Editors 

 

  • Texas is the second largest state in the US both by land area and by population. Its economy is growing strongly and its population, currently 26 million, is expected to reach 40 million by 2030.  Texas’s gross state product in 2013 was $ 1.5 trillion, corresponding in size to the world’s 13th biggest economy.   The delegation includes many of the key actors in the Texas economy.

 

  • The Texas state government is following a determined policy designed to make the state attractive to foreign investment and it is currently the number one recipient of FDI in the US. Among the sectors being promoted are biotechnology and life sciences, and ICT, which offer opportunities for Ireland both in terms of exports and investment.

 

  • Dallas-Fort Worth has the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the US. Houston is the fourth largest city in the country and is a major economic hub. San Antonio is a major education centre with a strong presence by companies in the biosciences, health care, green technology and ICT sectors. Austin, in addition to being the state capital, is a growing hi-tech centre noted for its business friendly environment.

 

  • 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.