12/03/2015: Minister Humphreys in London for St Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme to boost trade links with UK
Minister Humphreys in London for St Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme to boost trade links with UK
Minister will issue call to Irish in UK to get involved in Ireland 2016
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, is beginning a four day trade mission to London today as part of the Government’s ‘Promote Ireland’ programme.
The Minister will meet with representatives of Irish companies exporting to Britain and key Irish business professionals working in the UK at a series of events organised by the Irish Embassy and Enterprise Ireland.
The Minister will receive an update from Tourism Ireland, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia on their activities in the UK market and later today, Minister Humphreys will launch the Eulogy! Survey 2015 which shows that there are nearly 55,000 Irish company directors in the UK.
Minister Humphreys will meet with representatives from the arts community who are involved in the promotion of Yeats 2015 in London, and she will use her London trip to issue a call to Irish people living in the UK to get involved in Ireland 2016, the Government’s initiative to commemorate the 1916 Rising.
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“The UK is our most important export market, so I am very pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Enterprise Ireland client companies and other key business interests here in London to discuss the importance of continuing to strengthen our trade links with Britain as the economic recovery takes hold at home.
“The UK accounts for 16% of our total exports and 34% of our imports. It is by far our largest two-way trading partner. Combined trade between the UK and Ireland amounts to approximately €1 billion per week and supports over 400,000 jobs, half of them in Ireland.
The trading linkages between Ireland and the UK span almost every sector of the two economies and it is important to take every opportunity to strengthen these links.
“According to the latest Eulogy! Survey, the number of Irish directors of UK companies has hit nearly 55,000 for the first time in 2015, up 3,172 or 6% on 2014. This is the fifth year in a row that Irish nationals top the list of non-British company directors in the UK. The Irish are one of the most dynamic and successful communities in Britain; there is virtually no aspect of British civic, political, community or cultural life that has not been enriched by contributions from the Irish community.
“I will be taking the opportunity while in London to promote Ireland 2016, the Government’s initiative to commemorate the 1916 Rising, reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and look towards the next 100 years. I am calling on the Irish community in Britain, and right across the world, to get involved in Ireland 2016.
“It is clear from the level of support which Yeats 2015 has received here in Britain that there is a great appetite to celebrate Irish culture and heritage. I want to capture this enthusiasm in 2016. Through our Embassy network we will be hosting a series of exhibitions, debates and other cultural initiatives to ensure Ireland 2016 is a truly global event.”