Monday 24 April 2017

Gilmore to target rise in trade with China and India

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

LABOUR is targeting an increase in trade with emerging economic giants such as India and China to reduce the 450,000 people on the dole.

But the party is not revealing where the money for its €500m "jobs fund" will come from until its fiscal strategy is published on Thursday. It plans going to use the National Pension Reserve Fund for some of the money -- but €17.5bn of the €20bn in the fund has been committed to the bailout deal.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said his party's new enterprise plan would target an increase in trade with the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries from 4pc to 10pc in an attempt to cut unemployment.

"That's where the growth is in the future," he said.

Mr Gilmore admitted that the idea of increasing trade with the BRIC companies was not new, but said it was not being done properly at the moment.

He said it was a pity that Taoiseach Brian Cowen's planned trade visit to China this month had been one of the "casualties" of the political upheaval.

At Labour's headquarters in Dublin yesterday, Mr Gilmore said there were no specific job targets in the new enterprise policy because he was wary about parties promising thousands of jobs at election time.

"I think there's an air of realism about that. It's not government that creates jobs, it creates the circumstances in which jobs can be created," he said.

Irish investment teams would be set up in the BRIC countries to secure greater business links, under Labour's election promises. And there would be a "trade czar" to work with a new Trade Council to secure more foreign business.

Welfare

But Fine Gael's enterprise spokesman Richard Bruton criticised Labour for not tackling issues holding back business such as red tape and welfare traps.

"Labour places all its faith in raising €500m for a vague 'jobs fund' that will see politicians and state agencies seeking to influence for their own agendas," he added.

Irish Independent

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