9th March 2022
Tánaiste to meet with President of Colombia and attend inauguration of Chilean President
Opens new embassies in Santiago and Bogotá
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD will today travel to Chile and Colombia as part of the St Patrick’s Day programme of ministerial overseas missions, where he will meet with the leaders of the two countries and meet with local Irish communities and businesses.
Last month, the Government published Ireland’s Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean which sets out plans to deepen our relationship with the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in the areas of trade, culture and education. The Tánaiste’s trip is kicking off a programme of increased engagement between Ireland and those countries.
The Tánaiste will meet with Chile’s new President, Mr Gabriel Boric and attend his inauguration on behalf of Ireland and the European Union.
The Tánaiste said:
“I am honoured to attend the inauguration of President-elect Boric. This trip is about deepening the relationship between our two countries, which is something we’ve committed to as Government. There are huge opportunities for both sides in strengthening links between Ireland and Chile, and indeed with the wider Latin American region.”
As committed to in ‘Global Ireland’, Ireland now has a new embassy in Santiago, which the Tánaiste will officially open during his visit.
He will meet with outgoing President Sebastian Pinera and incoming Cabinet Ministers. He will also visit a number of Irish businesses operating in Chile and the new Irish-Chilean Chamber of Commerce.
There is currently €136m worth of goods and almost €550m in services exchanged between Chile and Ireland annually. Chile is an important market for Irish companies, particularly in growing sectors such as fintech and renewable energy. Our top exports to the country are in medical & pharmaceutical products.
The Tánaiste will officially open Ireland’s Bogotá embassy, fulfilling a further commitment in ‘Global Ireland’ and meet with the President of Colombia, Mr Ivan Duque, and Vice President Ms Marta Lucia Ramirez, as well as several Cabinet ministers.
He will meet with the Irish-Colombian business network, representatives of the banking sector and civil society groups. The Tánaiste will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Ireland and Colombia on cooperation in the education sector, which will give Irish students new opportunities to study and live in Colombia.
Colombia’s economy is the fourth largest in Latin America and a number of Irish companies are already active in the market. Sectors that represent potential opportunities for Irish businesses in Colombia include renewable energy, infrastructure, medical & pharmaceutical and fintech.
The Tánaiste said:
“I’m really looking forward to visiting Colombia and meeting with President Duque and Vice President Ramirez. Opening a new embassy in Bogotá is a statement of our intent to strengthen relations between our two countries. We’re already agreeing to do more on education on this trip, which will open up opportunities for Irish students to study and live in Colombia. I’m also looking forward to meeting with the Irish community and Irish businesses based here, to listen to what opportunities there are to grow business links between both countries.”
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