Thursday, 28 November 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
131. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if a report will be provided on the recent Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain; her plans to deepen trade relations with these countries; and if the Minister of State with responsibility for trade, employment, business, EU digital Single Market and data protection raised human rights issues during meetings with government representatives. [49467/19]
The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. led a five-day Trade Mission to Kuwait, Dubai and Bahrain. This was one of the largest trade missions to the Middle East and is part of Enterprise Ireland’s market diversification strategy to expand the Irish export footprint and increase Irish company exports to €26 billion by 2020. Enterprise Ireland has specifically set a target to grow exports to the United Arab Emirates to €2 billion in 2020, from €1.4 billion in 2016.
The 33 Enterprise Ireland supported companies that took part in the Trade Mission span a wide range of sectors including Aviation, Digital Technologies, Fintech, Education, Engineering, Telecommunications and Life Sciences. Across each of these sectors they see the Middle East as a key element of their current and future export diversification strategy and recognize the substantial opportunity that the region represents.
Over 200 meetings were attended by the 33 Enterprise Ireland backed companies on the mission, covering the Aviation, Digital Technologies, Fintech, Education and Engineering sectors.
Minister of State Breen did not meet with government Ministers on this occasion.