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Minister Flanagan addresses the Asia Matters Summit

Minister reiterates Ireland’s commitment to the EU

Minister encourages Irish business to seek out opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, this morning delivered the opening keynote address at the 8th EU-Asia Top Economist Round Table at the Asia Matters 2016 Asia Summit in Dublin. The theme of the event was “EU-Asia Trade Relations in a Post Brexit World.”

In his speech, Minister Flanagan addressed the recent referendum result in the UK and discussed the implications of the outcome for Ireland’s relationship with Asia. He pointed to the Programme for Government commitment to deliver a new cross-sectoral Trade Strategy for the Asia-Pacific region. Work on developing this Strategy is now underway in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Minister Flanagan said:

“In the wake of the UK EU referendum result, I would like to stress that Ireland will remain a member of the European Union and the eurozone. It is vital that this message is widely understood in the Asia Pacific region, and the wider world. That is in our national interest and will be the case in parallel with a continued strong and close relationship with the UK. After more than 40 years of membership, we have built up strong bonds of partnership with all the other member states, and with the European institutions, that will continue to serve us well.

“Brexit will pose many challenges for Ireland, but it will also offer opportunities as businesses reflect on the implications for them from the UK’s decision. I encourage everyone to seek out new opportunities in the Asia Pacific region as businesses which have a solid base in the UK look to protect their interests, diversify and find new, additional markets.

The Minister emphasised the help and advice on officer from Ireland’s mission network and from State agencies including Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia.

Commending Asia Matters for bringing together key stakeholders for the summit, Minister Flanagan stated:

“Today’s event offers the opportunity to clarify to an audience with a keen interest in Asia that Ireland will remain engaged in the Asia Pacific region, and that we will continue to seek out opportunities there that will further our interests. The Government will continue to do all it can to support and develop the multi-faceted relationships we have with all of the countries of Asia, both as Ireland and as a committed member state of the European Union. We take this responsibility seriously and are committed to expanding and extending cooperation between our two regions, no matter what challenges arise along the way.”

Press Office
6 July 2016