Study to look at new trade opportunities for Irish companies

Goverment commissions study to see how Ieland can gain from free trade agreements

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe  with European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announcing a trade agreement last month

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe with European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announcing a trade agreement last month

 

A new study aimed at identifying new business opportunities for Irish companies from European Union free trade agreements has been commissioned by the Government.

Announcing the study, Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald said given the challenges posed by Brexit, diversification into new markets is critical for Irish companies.

The EU has free trade agreements with individual countries throughout the world that provide for preferential tariff treatment and usually include clauses covering issues such as intellectual property, government procurement and technical standards.

The most recent trade agreement, which was announced early last month, is one that remove tariffs for 99 per cent of the goods traded between the EU and Japan.

That deal, which was agreed following four years of talks, is expected to be of particular benefit to Irish companies, given that Japan is Ireland’s biggest trade partner in Asia after China and the largest source of FDI.

Commenting on the proposed study, Ms Fitzgerald said it will seek to show how Ireland can best benefit from the opportunities presented by free trade agreements and explore how they impact on our economy.

“The EU trade agenda is moving ahead swiftly, with preparations for the opening of trade talk, for example with New Zealand and Australia well underway. I want to ensure that Ireland has a sound evidence base to work from in other upcoming trade negotiations,” she said.