Written answers

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Industrial Development

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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38. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment further to Parliamentary Question No. 4 of 29 April 2021, if the IDA has to date appointed the business development consultant in Israel; the details of the checks and balances in place within his Department to ensure that the IDA's decision to establish a presence in Israel will not indirectly support or legitimise Israel’s policies of de facto annexation; the details of the monitoring that will be carried out by his Department in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30201/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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IDA Ireland issued a request for tender for a part-time Israel based Business Development Consultant on 26 April 2021. The Business Development Consultant will be expected to identify Israeli-headquartered target companies with potential for investing in Ireland, engage with senior decision-makers in these companies and present Ireland’s value proposition as an investment location.

I am advised that IDA Ireland has not yet awarded the Tender for a part-time consultant in Israel.

IDA Ireland is represented on the Implementation Group for the National Plan on Business and Human Rights; this is a multi-stakeholder group, comprising government, business and civil society representatives. The recently published Guidance on Business and Human Rights for Business Enterprises was developed by the Implementation Group under the National Plan, and formally launched by my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in April.

IDA Ireland has advised my Department that they will be guided by all aspects of this guidance when appointing a business development consultant in any territory.

Ireland has consistently and strongly opposed settlements, which are illegal under international law. The passing of the recent Dáil motion is a clear signal of the depth of feeling on this issue – both in respect of the escalation of violence and conflict we have seen in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel itself, and on the root causes of the situation.

Ireland’s position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory informs our engagement with the State of Israel across a range of bilateral issues, including trade, and will continue to do so.

Ireland remains steadfast in its support for a comprehensive two state solution which protects the future of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

My officials have made the IDA aware of the details of the Motion and I can confirm the issue will be included as an item at upcoming governance meetings with the Agency.

As an Agency of my Department, I expect IDA Ireland to act in line with Government policy and the Agency has assured me that this is the case. IDA Ireland respects obligations under both Irish and International law.

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