Irish-Austrian trade grows significantly; Minister Flanagan to open Irish-Austrian Business Forum06 October 2014
The President of Austria, Dr Heinz Fischer and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, will open an Irish Austrian Business Forum in Dublin tomorrow to highlight business opportunities in both countries.
Speaking ahead of the event, Minister Flanagan said:
“The visit of President Fischer will strengthen the excellent relationship between Ireland and Austria, both bilaterally and as members of the EU. The Government is determined to increase the number of Irish firms doing business in Austria, where our total trade last year was valued at nearly €1.5 billion. Enterprise Ireland has 250 client companies in Austria and my Department and our Embassy in Vienna are working to increase that number.
“The performance of our export industries has been a major driver of economic growth in Ireland and exports to Austria increased almost 14% last year, particularly in the field of pharmaceuticals, essential oils, chemical materials, office machinery and manufactured articles. I hope to see more companies looking to Austria as a potential market for their products.
“Ireland and Austria share long historical ties, strengthened by an ongoing commitment to fund an Irish Studies programme and Irish language teaching in the University of Vienna. This initiative is an excellent opportunity to bring Irish culture and literature to a wider audience in Austria.”
The Federal President of the Republic of Austria, H.E. Dr Heinz Fischer and Ms Margit Fischer, are visiting Ireland this week, to meet the Irish government and to promote trade links. President Fischer will be hosted to an official dinner by President Michael D. Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin. He will also plant an Irish oak tree in the garden of the Áras to mark his visit. He will meet the Taoiseach, the Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, and partake in a cultural programme including a visit to Trinity College, Marsh’s Library, and the National Gallery.
The Irish Austrian Business Forum is hosted by Advantage Austria, the Austrian State Body with responsibility for Trade Promotion and for attracting foreign direct investment to Austria. Journalists who wish to attend can find details here.
6 October 2014
Notes for Editors:
- The President is accompanied by the Federal Minister for Education and Women’s Affairs, Ms Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, who will meet Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, to discuss further co-operation in the field of education.
- The last visit by an Austrian President was in 1994, the year before Austria joined the EU.
- In 2013, trade between Ireland and Austria including goods and services was €1.49 billion, which represented a 13.8% increase from 2012.
- Enterprise Ireland had 250 client companies exporting €42.2m to Austria in 2013.
- The Irish Studies programme at the University of Vienna is joint funded by the University and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has recently been extended for the 2014-2016 period.