Belfast Telegraph

Republic in move to find new export opportunities

By Colm Kelpie

The Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has created new commercial posts in a number of non-European locations in a bid to boost Ireland's trading partnerships.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan announced the move after a special meeting of the Export Trade Council yesterday.

The posts will be in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia as well as Romania.

Mr Flanagan said the move was taken to enhance market diversification and access for companies as part of the department's new economic diplomacy strategy. The minister convened a special meeting of the Export Trade Council focused on the Brexit referendum.

The council is made up of senior ministers with an economic focus, the heads of the Republic's agencies involved in promoting trade, tourism, investment and education abroad with the support of the embassy network.

"In previous discussions at the council, we identified market diversification as key mitigating factors in regard to risks to our economy," the Minister said.

"That indeed was reaffirmed at our discussions today, with particular reference to Brexit.

"In line with the intensification of this government policy, I have recently created new commercial attaché posts in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and Romania, to enhance market access for Irish companies as part of my department's new economic diplomacy strategy."

The Minister said he believed the Republic was in good shape to respond to the challenges of Brexit.

"Ireland has shown great discipline and agility in response to the 2008 crisis and our recovery stands us in good stead.

"We must now show a similar determination and agility again."

And he said the next meeting of the council would focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

Belfast Telegraph