Dáil debates

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Trade Relations

10:30 pm

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

As the question had a specific focus on congestion at the Port of Shanghai, I went to some trouble to try to get the Deputy an answer on this particular issue. The Department of Foreign Affairs, together with the embassy in Beijing and consulates general in Shanghai and Hong Kong, is closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in China. This includes the current challenging circumstances in Shanghai, a city that has been under lockdown for more than a month. I am also aware of reports of shipping congestion at Shanghai Port attributed to the impact of public health measures there and the related impacts on global value chains. 

One of the main responsibilities of the Department is ensuring the welfare of our citizens abroad. The consulate in Shanghai is providing consular services to a number of Irish citizens and is also providing support to the Irish business community in Shanghai. The embassy in Beijing continues to liaise closely with the wider Irish team, including the consulate in Shanghai and the offices of State agencies, to ensure that the impact of this lockdown is as limited as possible on Irish businesses in China.

Despite the pandemic, bilateral trade between Ireland and China continues to grow. This reflects Ireland’s strong trading performance globally. Trade in goods was worth more than €20 billion in 2021. In 2020, total bilateral trade of goods and services was worth €28.8 billion. We continue to engage with China to ensure a strong trading relationship and one that is in line with our values.

Last month, my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, published a new Government trade and investment strategy, Value for Ireland, Values for the World. One of the seven priority actions of that strategy is the establishment of an expert group on global value chains and supply chains to identify global supply chain opportunities and threats. The group will examine themes such as economic nationalism, open strategic autonomy, and reshoring initiatives. The Department will contribute, as appropriate, to this expert group. This will include providing economic updates on key markets globally as requested, including China.


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