Tuesday, 6 October 2020
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
113. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans there to extend Ireland’s diplomatic footprint through the EU and the world in order to forge new alliances post Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27752/20]
“Global Ireland – Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025", sets out the Government’s ambitions for expanding and deepening our international presence. It includes the expansion of Ireland’s Mission Network which will deepen our impact across priority regions, provide opportunities to grow our trade and inward investment, strengthen political relationships with our partners, promote our values, and support Irish citizens and our diaspora abroad. A deepened footprint will also enable us to better shape and influence international events in our interests.
My Department plans to open 26 new Diplomatic Missions over the lifetime of Global Ireland. Since its launch in 2018, my Department has been working closely with the Department of the Taoiseach and a range of other Government partners to ensure effective delivery.
To date we have opened new Embassies in Wellington, Bogotá, Amman, Monrovia and Santiago de Chile, and new Consulates General in Vancouver, Mumbai, Cardiff, Frankfurt and Los Angeles. Our efforts continue including through the planned opening of new Embassies in Kyiv, Manila and Rabat. These locations have been chosen based on a range of factors, including their potential to diversify our markets, to grow trade and investment with Ireland, and to enable Irish companies to better take advantage of new opportunities.
A critical component of the Global Ireland programme is identifying new opportunities to diversify our markets in a post-Brexit world. Global Ireland 2025 will support efforts to grow and diversify export markets, inward investment and tourism, as Brexit becomes a reality. It will ensure that Ireland is better positioned to build the alliances necessary to advance its interests and defend its positions in a post-Brexit EU, while also helping to secure our deep and positive relationship with the UK and its constituent parts into the future.
Ireland has a long-standing policy of maintaining Embassies in all EU Member States. This policy has been of incalculable benefit to our country since the UK made the decision to leave the European Union. With this in mind, we will also continue to strengthen our teams in EU Member States, assigning additional resources as necessary.
In considering any further expansion of the diplomatic 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.