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Minister Flanagan highlights potential of Asia for Irish businesses

Minister Flanagan highlights potential of Asia for Irish businesses

Asia -- home to one third of the world's population -- is of growing importance to Irish exporters, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD said this morning (Wednesday) as he launched the Irish Exporters Association Asia Trade Forum schedule of events for 2015.

Speaking at the event, Minister Flanagan said:

"Increasing exports is both a key goal of this Government and a key driver of growth for the Irish economy. Asia, which is home to one third of the world's population and contains a rapidly-growing middle class, is of growing importance to export-oriented Irish businesses. I welcome the fact that organisations such as the Irish Exporters Association are engaging in the region and the Irish Government is actively assisting businesses in a variety of ways including ministerial-led trade missions.

“Many Irish companies are already successfully operating in the region. In the last year, the Government opened new Irish Embassies in Indonesia and Thailand, and a new Consulate General in Hong Kong. Ireland now has a strong presence in all nine of the priority high value and high potential markets identified in our Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy. Our diplomatic staff, working closely with State Agencies working hard to Irish businesses to capitalise on the opportunities in these important markets in order to help them expand and create jobs at home.

“High growth markets, a growing middle class, and development of infrastructure and administration systems in a number of emerging markets, offer exciting opportunities for Irish companies in the region. The food and drink, education, tourism, financial services and aviation services are sectors of particular potential for Irish companies in Asia.”

The Asia Trade Forum was established as part of the Irish Exporters Association in 2012 to help Irish exporters increase their trade with Asian markets. Among the events in this year’s schedule are roundtable meetings on the markets in the region as well as targeted events on ICT, food and drink and life sciences. The event was attended by a number of business executives as well as representatives of business associations active in Asia.

Press Office
1 April 2015