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Minister discusses measures to boost trade, tourism and investment at Export Trade Council


Minister Flanagan discusses measures to boost trade, tourism and investment in new markets at Export Trade Council


Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, Nigeria, Turkey, Thailand and Chile are among the international markets with the greatest potential for expansion by Irish firms, Minister Flanagan will tell Government Ministers, State agencies and business leaders meeting today to discuss measures to boost trade, tourism, investment and education services internationally.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., will this afternoon chair the high-level Export Trade Council (ETC) of 2014, to discuss the implementation of the Review of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, which was published in February 2014.

The ETC is taking place against the background of an increase in our goods export performance of 9 percent for the first half of 2014 over the same period in 2013.

Minister Flanagan will outline the prospects and potential of the seven Exploratory and High-Potential Markets identified by the Government earlier this year. These markets - Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand and Chile - are characterised by large populations, growing economies, future FDI potential and there are specific sectoral opportunities, identified in the Strategy Review published earlier this year.

The Council will also review the programme of trade missions led by Government Ministers in 2014 to date and discuss the trade and investment-focussed programme of Ministerial travel during the upcoming 2015 St. Patrick’s Day period to promote Ireland and Irish companies.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister Flanagan said:

“My Department’s Embassy network and Ireland’s State agencies remain committed to working closely together to ensure the continued development of Ireland’s critically important enterprise sector.

This year, my Department is opening five new Embassies and three Consulates General across four continents, in order to ensure Ireland is even better positioned to engage new high-potential markets, while at the same time maintaining a strong focus on building relationships in our established markets.

The endeavours of our local market teams, which are chaired by our Ambassadors, in coordinating the work of Embassies and State agencies on the ground, is crucial to delivering on the Government’s trade, tourism, investment and education targets.”

Members of the Council, who are tasked with overseeing implementation of the Strategy, will also be updated on progress made in 2014 against targets for trade, tourism, inward investment and education services by representatives of the State agencies.




Press Office

4 November 2014


Note for Editors:

  • The Export Trade Council (ETC), which is chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D, was established in 2011 in order to strengthen cooperation and coordination across all Government Departments and State agencies involved in the promotion of trade, tourism and inward investment.
  • The ETC oversees the implementation of the Government Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, ‘Trading and Investment in a Smart Economy’, which was published in 2010. The Strategy sets out targets for trade, tourism and investment to be met by 2015, as well as a programme of actions conducive to achieving these targets. Following a Government decision taken on January 17, 2013, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was tasked with coordinating a short, focused review of the Strategy, in close cooperation with the relevant State agencies and Government Departments. This Review was launched on 24 February, 2014.
  • The members of the Council include: Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., and Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North-South Cooperation, Seán Sherlock, T.D.
  • The State agencies that work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy network in promoting trade, tourism and investment are also represented on the Council at CEO level: IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Bord Bia, and Tourism Ireland.
  • The private sector is also represented on the Council by IBEC and the Irish Exporters Association, as well as by a number of business people with a track record in the relevant sectors.

The new Embassies and Consulates General being opened are as follows:


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

Consulates General

  • Hong Kong
  • Austin, Texas
  • Sao Paulo

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 – was published at the start of the year. The report shows how the Embassy network continues to play a crucial role in supporting the Government Strategy to increase trade, tourism, investment and education services in Ireland.