Gilmore tells book gathering ‘economic diplomacy matters’

Tánaiste speaks at event to mark book on ex-minister for external affairs Frank Aiken

Tánaiste Eamon  Gilmore spoke at an event to mark a new book on Frank Aiken (above), former minister for external affairs. Photograph: Sean Sexton/Getty Images

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore spoke at an event to mark a new book on Frank Aiken (above), former minister for external affairs. Photograph: Sean Sexton/Getty Images

Fri, Jun 13, 2014, 09:41

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said “economic diplomacy matters” as he reflected on Ireland’s overseas engagements during his time in office.

Saying Ireland was uniquely well placed to prosper in the emerging globalised world, the Tánaiste said there was no aspect of government that did not have a significant external dimension.

Mr Gilmore was speaking at an event to mark a new book on Frank Aiken, former minister for external affairs. Frank Aiken: Nationalist and Internationalist is edited by Bryce Evans and Stephen Kelly.

Mr Gilmore said foreign policy was critical to Ireland’s prosperity. “Our experience of the financial crisis has proven the value of investing in relationships with each of our EU partners, irrespective of their size, and with the European Institutions.

“In my experience, there is no substitute for having a direct channel on the ground able to go in and argue for Ireland. This is equally true elsewhere in the world. Strong bilateral relationships underpin our ability to pursue our objectives in multilateral settings, and our ability to pursue our trade, tourism and investment goals.”