Thursday, 2 December 2010
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Question 19: To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation the role he will play in the implementation of the recently published plan, Trading and Investment in a Smart Economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45540/10]
Question 34: To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation the membership of the foreign trade council established under the Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy strategy; the number of times this group has met; the number of times he has met with this group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45495/10]
Question 42: To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation the progress being made by the foreign trade council established under the Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy strategy in implementing the strategy; if he will provide a report on all actions taken so far by the group in moving the strategy forward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45496/10]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 19, 34 and 42 together.
The new Strategy specifies that the Minister for Trade and Commerce, my colleague, Mr. Billy Kelleher TD, will chair the new Foreign Trade Council. While I have been very closely involved in the development of the Strategy and I will continue to work on pursuing its strategic priorities and targets, it will be Minister Kelleher who will principally drive its implementation and chair the new Foreign Trade Council.
The new Council brings together all of the key Departments and State agencies involved in the promotion and development of trade, tourism and investment. The role of the Council is to drive implementation of the strategy through a suite of actions in our key priority markets, both existing and high-potential, as set out in the strategy and action plan. It will also strengthen cooperation and coordination across all the key State agencies.
The Council's membership comprises the CEOs of the following State Agencies, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Forfas, Science Foundation Ireland, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland and Culture Ireland, in addition to senior level representatives of the following Departments: Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation, Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of An Taoiseach, Department of Education and Skills and Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
The Council held its first meeting on 27th October last, when it discussed the current state of play of a number of the actions set out in the action plan, including maximising the impact of integrated trade missions, promoting Ireland through St Patrick's Day, making better use of our current joint Economic Commissions, increasing coordination between the agencies at field level etc, and any further initiatives required for their implementation. The Department of Justice and Law Reform briefed the Council on progress towards the establishment of a new mechanism to align our visa regime with the priorities set out in the strategy.
The Council finalised its direction and guidance to the local Trade, Tourism and Investment Teams, which are being set up in each of Ireland's overseas priority markets. The Ambassadors in each of these markets are required to complete their local market plan by the end of the year. These and other relevant issues will be kept under review and monitored by the Council, whose next meeting is due in early 2011.