6th April 2017
Ireland to grow exports by €250m under new Canada EU Free Trade Agreement
Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen TD led a trade and investment programme to Canada this week in a bid to drive new opportunities to boost trade, investment and tourism links between Ireland and Canada.
Minister Breen said, "With a substantial new free trade agreement between the EU and Canada (the CETA agreement) about to kick in, with both Ireland and Canada looking to diversify their trade and investment link across the world, and with a very active Irish community in Canada, I see great prospects for growing Irish exports, securing increased Canadian investment and increasing tourism numbers from Canada.
Canada is our nearest English speaking neighbour to the west and we have deep-rooted ties on which to build new business opportunities with a market of 36 million and one of the most prosperous economies in the world."
Canada Ireland trade is currently valued at €2.75 billion. Under CETA almost all tariffs on industrial goods between the EU and Canada will be eliminated with Ireland's exports expected to grow by €250m.
Minister Breen had meetings with representatives of Canadian medical devices and Life Sciences companies who are interested in forming business and research partnerships with Irish companies. The Minister also met with Keyword Studios, an Enterprise Ireland client that is headquartered in Dublin and employs 300 people in Montreal. Keyword provides services to the gaming industry across the world and Montreal is one of the worlds gaming capitals. Minister Breen engaged on the prospects of specialised Canadian food and drink companies establishing a presence in Ireland to service the EU market. The Minister was also briefed by the Irish Canadian Chamber of Commerce on the potential to develop business links between Ireland and Canada.
With Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Kevin Vickers, Minister Breen met with a number of Irish community and business groups. Some 4.5 million people in Canada are of Irish heritage. The Minister was briefed on the Montreal Concordia University Department of Irish Studies programme which has almost 1,000 students (80% with no Irish connection) taking undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Irish history, culture, language and the economy, further strengthening links between Canada and Ireland.
Minister Breen, together with the Irish Ambassador to Canada, Mr Jim Kelly, and the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, met with senior representatives from Air Canada, including with CEO Calin Rovinescu, to discuss the prospects for increased air services to Ireland, so as to take advantage and support the growing trade and tourism opportunities.
Minister Breen also met with the Mayor of Montreal, Mr Denis Coderre, to discuss the CETA agreement, the potential for greater Canada-Ireland business links and to acknowledge the Mayor's support for the Irish community in Montreal. Mayor Coderre said he would look at the possibility of leading a trade mission to Ireland.
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