Embassies to sharpen focus on business promotion - Andrews
At the instigation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews, T.D., Irish Ambassadors, business leaders and representatives of State agencies are to participate in a major seminar, on September 1, 1999, on the promotion abroad of Irish economic interests. The Minister proposed this meeting in a speech to the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Paris in February of this year and today approved the arrangements for it.
Announcing these details the Minister said "the role Irish Embassies play in the promotion of Irish exports abroad is often not fully appreciated. Embassies are in effect the Irish Government's overseas branch offices. They accord the highest priority to the promotion of Ireland's economic interests. This seminar will re-invigorate their efforts and bring a sharper focus to their work, which is undertaken in close cooperation with other Government Departments and with the relevant State agencies.
He continued "It is widely recognised that the prestige of an Embassy helps to open doors in many markets. I would urge business organisations to bear in mind that Irish Embassies and Consulates are a valuable resource.
"Paradoxically as the world gets smaller through technology it becomes ever more important to have Irish representatives on the ground to develop the personal relationships which can be helpful to Irish exporters and investors, as well as to the search for foreign investment in Ireland. In recognition of this the Government have recently agreed to the establishment of a new Embassy in Singapore, in the Ireland House mould, new Consulates in Shanghai and Sydney and to an increase in staffing resources in Beijing and Tokyo. We recently opened an Embassy in Turkey and will shortly do so in Mexico City." 2/2
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The seminar on 1 September will bring together Irish Ambassadors with business people and their representative organisations, and the semi State sector.
The one-day meeting will be opened by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, T.D. Ministers of State Liz O'Donnell TD and Tom Kitt TD will also take part.
The meeting will discuss Exploring New Markets, Prospects and Strategies in Major Markets, Developments in the Food and Drink Sector and Export of Services.
Speakers at the Seminar will include representatives of AIB Group, SIFCO, Baltimore Technologies, the Royal College of Surgeons, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Bord Bia, ESBI, the National Software Directorate and the Advisory Council for English Language Schools.
High level representatives of major Irish companies, IBEC, the Irish Exporters Association, the Irish Meat Association, and State bodies with overseas interests will be invited to attend.
For further information contact Seán O Regan, (01) 408 2278.