For Oral Answer on : 30/09/2021
Question Number(s): 51 Question Reference(s): 46852/21
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs his Department’s plans to establish diplomatic missions which will incorporate business and further promote the generation of trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Assistance to Irish business and the generation and growth of trade are some of the key areas of focus for our existing diplomatic missions and are a major consideration in any plans we have to establish future missions.
My Department plays a key role in the Team Ireland approach, which sees Government Departments and State Agencies working closely with other Irish Stakeholders to strengthen our international reputation and drive the development of trade, tourism, investment, science, technology and innovation, culture and education. Team Ireland abroad, aided by support teams at home, works constantly to identify and take advantage of new opportunities for Ireland.
In June 2018, the Government launched Global Ireland: Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025. The Global Ireland initiative aims to see Ireland’s global footprint and influence double in the period to 2025, including through an expanded and strengthened Diplomatic presence. This remains the most ambitious renewal and expansion of Ireland’s international presence ever undertaken.
By the end of this year, this programme will have opened 14 new missions open and fully operational. To date new Embassies have opened in Wellington, Bogotá, Amman, Monrovia, Santiago de Chile and Kiev, and new Consulates General in Cardiff, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Manchester, Mumbai and Vancouver. Work on the expansion of the Mission network continues including through the planned opening of new Embassies in Manila and Rabat by the end of this year. We will also be reopening our Embassy in Tehran in 2023 and in July this year the Government approved the opening of a further four new Missions in Dakar, Lyon, Miami and Toronto.
All of the new missions are located in countries that present trading opportunities for Irish business. Indeed, the new Embassies and Consulates opened to date, are contributing to the expansion and deepening of Ireland’s international presence across priority regions, providing opportunities to grow our trade and inward investment, strengthening our political relationships with our partners, promoting our values, and supporting Irish citizens and our diaspora abroad.
My Department has been working with the Department of Taoiseach and other Government partners to deliver on the Global Ireland plan. We are collaborating closely with Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland and others on the ‘Ireland House’ model which will provide co-located facilities for all departments and agencies involved in Team Ireland. We are also focused on increasing our efficiency and effectiveness through greater Team Ireland mobility with an increased deployment of staff from across Government Departments to key strategic locations. This has been complemented by the expanding presence of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in key markets and by the strengthening of strategically important missions (including Brussels, Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, New York (UN), Tokyo and Beijing). Over the lifetime of Global Ireland, my Department has the objective of further strengthening the existing mission network.
In considering any further expansion of Ireland’s mission network, a range of factors will be taken into account including our national, political, economic and trade priorities, as well as the availability of resources.