Icelandic leader's visit focuses on trade links


The prime minister of Iceland today concludes a visit to Ireland aimed at fostering closer relations between the two countries, writes Mary Fitzgerald, Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Since his arrival on Wednesday, prime minister Geir H Haarde has met Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin to discuss the Irish economy and business links with Iceland.

"One of the priorities of the visit is to learn as much as possible about how the Irish tiger economy has performed and how it was made possible," said the ambassador of Iceland Sverrir H Gunnlaugsson. "We're hoping the visit will generate a closer relationship between Ireland and Iceland."

Mr Haarde was also interested in finding out more about Ireland's social partnership model, the ambassador added.

The prime minister also visited a number of businesses with links to Iceland, including the stockbroking firm Merrion Capital Group, sea cable company Hibernia Atlantica, broadband systems provider Industria and Stofnfiskur, a fish farming firm.

He has a lunch meeting with Minister for Justice, Equality and Reform Brian Lenihan, today before his departure.