Minister Flanagan to address EI event in Istanbul & represent Government at High Level Panel23 April 2015
Minister Flanagan begins a four day visit to Turkey today where he is accompanying President Higgins to the centenary commemorations marking the start of the First World War Gallipoli campaign.
Before travelling to Gallipoli for the centenary commemorations, Minister Flanagan will attend a business lunch in Istanbul organised by Enterprise Ireland. The lunch for EI client companies and their Turkish partners was organised in close co-operation with the Embassy of Ireland, Ankara and Enterprise Ireland and will provide a valuable networking opportunity for client companies to strengthen their business connections with Turkey. Minister Flanagan will use the opportunity to promote the already strong trade links between Ireland and Turkey.
Ten Irish companies and their Turkish customers and partners will attend the lunch. The participating companies are drawn from a wide range of sectors with particular growth potential in Turkey such as aviation, software and technology, food and engineering services. Last year merchandise trade between Ireland and Turkey was in balance with exports from Ireland accounting for €445 million worth of goods and services while imports were at €435 million. Services exports in 2013 were €444 million while imports were €83 million, recording a surplus in Ireland’s favour in traded services of €362 million.
Speaking before the visit, Minister Flanagan said:
“Turkey is a vibrant, modern economy – the 16th largest in the world. I believe it presents real opportunities for growth for Irish companies. Turkey is already a significant trading partner. Irish exports to Turkey have developed strongly reaching over €445 million last year and our overall trade is worth over €1.3bn.”
According to Jonathan Ryan, Manger of Enterprise Ireland Turkey:
“Since the establishment of Enterprise Ireland office in Istanbul in early 2014, there has been increased interest by Irish companies to identify potential Turkish partners to assist them in doing business in Turkey and in surrounding countries. The presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the business lunch provides an excellent endorsement of the development of these business relationships.”
Today (Thursday) Minister Flanagan will also represent the Government at a High Level Session chaired by Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, and involving the participation of international leaders such as Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott and New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key. Minister Flanagan said:
"I am looking forward to today's inter-governmental session which will provide an opportunity for reflections on the lessons learned from the First World War, on the subsequent reconciliation between their countries and on how this can be used as a source of inspiration in addressing current cases of conflict."
23 April 2015