Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
87. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to allocate further diplomatic resources to the BRICS countries over the next year; if he will provide details of his plan; if specific targets have been set to enhance trade and strengthen connections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9371/12]
88. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is satisfied with the number of diplomatic staff currently allocated to the BRICS countries; if he has conducted any assessment of the current allocation and its effectiveness in growing trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9372/12]
Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy, the Government’s Trade Strategy and Action Plan for the integrated promotion of overseas trade, tourism and investment,seeks to build on our strengths in existing markets and develop exports and tourism in emerging economies. The UK, USA and our Eurozone partners continue to be key markets for Ireland, given our strong knowledge and understanding of these markets and our shared historical and cultural linkages.
The Government is, of course, fully committed to developing and expanding engagement with key high potential markets, such as the so called BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Each of these countries has been designated a priority market under the Trade Strategy based on the targets of the State Agencies and progress to date was most recently reviewed at the second meeting of the Export Trade Council, which I chaired on 16 February.
We are already increasing our trade footprint in these markets. I am confident that a range of trade missions and other initiatives during the year ahead will help to build on the progress already achieved in these and other markets.
Embassies and State Agencies based in the BRICS countries, through the local market teams established under the trade strategy and chaired by the Ambassador, are coordinating their resources to ensure the best possible return on Government investment in promotional activities in these markets.
A table setting out the details of staff in the Missions and the location of Honorary Consuls in the BRICS countries is provided below. The staffing figures include diplomatic and administrative staff on posting from Headquarters.
The size, scale and distribution of our diplomatic network is kept under review by my Department and considered by the Government on an ongoing basis. Any decision to retain or expand a Mission overseas is undertaken having regard to clear national priorities and available resources, and must be on the basis of an anticipated and ongoing significant return for the State.
|BRICS Country||Missions||Staff at Missions||Honorary Consuls||Honorary Consul Locations|
|Brazil||Embassy in Brasilia||2||1||Sao Paulo|
|Russia||Embassy in Moscow||9 (including visa office)||1||St. Petersburg|
|India||Embassy in New Delhi||7 (including visa office)||4||Bangalore, Chennai Mumbai Kolkata|
|China||Embassy in Beijing||9 (including visa office)||1||Hong Kong|
|Consulate General in Shanghai||3|
|South Africa||Embassy in Pretoria Office in Cape Town||4||0|
|Last Updated: 08/03/2013 15:53:17||Page of 495|