Written answers

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Departmental Policies

Photo of Aindrias MoynihanAindrias Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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40. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the policy solutions or mitigation measures that his Department is considering to ease the impact of current supply chain issues whilst awaiting the establishment of the Expert Group on Global Value Chains and Supply Chains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24962/22]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the economic pressures that Ireland and other economies were already experiencing in the wake of the supply chain disruptions brought by the pandemic. The war, and the necessary introduction of sanctions against Russia, is also disrupting supply chains and leading to large rises in international prices for energy, food and other commodities.

In the short term, Ireland, as a trading nation, is heavily invested in easing the burdens caused by the current supply chain issues. As such, the Government has already implemented several measures to help ease the impact on enterprises and households alike including:

- Steps already taken in relation to work permits for specific sectors such as the removal of HGV driver quota in October 2021 as well as approving a quota for employment permits of 2000 workers for Meat processing and 1000 for Horticulture.

- Extensive ongoing engagement and coordination between Government and relevant agencies in relation to energy issues is taking place, including in relation to short and medium term planning.

- A temporary reduction in the excise duties charged

- For hauliers, a temporary grant scheme will provide a payment of €100 per week to help mitigate the rising price of fuel. The scheme will operate for a period of eight weeks and is valued at €18 million.

- A temporary, targeted intervention package for the tillage sector to the value of €12.2 million in response to the impact on farming.

Furoperational thermore, the European Commission also recently launched its Temporary State Aid Crisis Framework for businesses affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This opens the way for Member States to consider if specific instruments might be needed in the near term, in order to help vulnerable but viable businesses to overcome the acute impacts of the current crisis. As part of the Framework, access to low-cost loans and grants may be made available in order to meet liquidity needs and facilitate necessary investment.

In March 2022, I launched Ireland’s Trade and Investment Strategy 2022-2026: Value for Ireland, Values for the World. One of the priority actions of this strategy is the Establishment of an Expert Group on Global Value Chains and Supply Chains which will build upon the work undertaken by Government during the pandemic on immediate risks to Ireland’s supply chain ecosystem.

The Expert Group on Global Value Chains and Supply Chains will engage in strategic foresight relevant to Ireland’s trade and investment business model, including identifying global supply chain opportunities and threats. It will take a comprehensive approach and examine the opportunities available from relevant EU policies and instruments in trade and industry which can be combined and used in a coherent manner. Themes such as economic nationalism, open strategic autonomy, ‘re-shoring’ initiatives in the US and Europe all require further scrutiny in terms of the global integrated supply chain model that Ireland currently promotes and within which Irish exporters and multinationals in Ireland operate successfully.


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