Irish diplomatic summit set for Vietnam in effort to boost Asian trade

Government focus is on Asia to deliver growth in international trade

 (Left to right)  Mari Miyoshi, ambassador of Japan in Ireland, Martin Murray, executive chairman, Asia Matters,  Anizan Adnin, ambassador of Malaysia in Ireland and  Dr Xiaoyong Yue, ambassador of China in Ireland

(Left to right) Mari Miyoshi, ambassador of Japan in Ireland, Martin Murray, executive chairman, Asia Matters, Anizan Adnin, ambassador of Malaysia in Ireland and Dr Xiaoyong Yue, ambassador of China in Ireland

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is hosting a heads of missions summit in Hanoi in Vietnam this month as the Government scales up its plans to expand and develop the Republic’s footprint in the Asia Pacific region.

The secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Niall Burgess, informed a gathering of business leaders, aviation managers, investors and ambassadors from the region that 15 heads of mission from Ireland would be attending the summit, which will focus on developing and expanding Ireland’s presence in the region.

Speaking at a briefing event organised by think-tank Asia Matters at Iveagh House, Dublin on Tuesday, Mr Burgess said the Government wants to double Ireland’s global footprint by 2025.

Major investment

“At a time of change we can either look inward or look outward. We are focusing on Asia Pacific at a time when distance is less of a challenge,” he said.

Mr Burgess said when he joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1984, Ireland had four missions in the Asia Pacific region – Australia, Japan, India and China. Currently that number is to expand to 15, including a major investment in “Ireland House” in Tokyo, which will be used to showcase Irish goods, culture and tourism in a purpose- built centre which is expected to open in late 2020.

“Our focus is on Asia Pacific. Since I came into the role of Secretary General I have spent more time in Asia Pacific than in North America. Last year alone, 18 Government Ministers visited the region,” he said.