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Saturday 30 August 2014

All hail President . . . Gilmore - Bord Bia promotes Tanaiste

DANIEL McCONNELL

Published 25/05/2014 | 02:30

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has been accidentally promoted to Irish president by Bord Bia
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has been accidentally promoted to Irish president by Bord Bia

IF you have ever wondered how we are viewed abroad, well here is Eamon Gilmore as you've never seen him before.

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As part of a Bord Bia sales promotion used in China, the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has been used to front Ireland's bid to crack the world's largest economy.

And while his position as Labour leader has been called into question at home, the adverts mistakenly managed to promote Gilmore to the position of Irish President in the Chinese text included in the promotional material.

The online advertisements, which the Department of Foreign Affairs said cost no money to place, have already secured more than €250,000 in additional sales for Irish food producers.

The photo of Gilmore was taken during an event organised by Bord Bia last August to announce that Ireland had secured full market access to China for salmon exports.

The announcement was made during the Tanaiste's four-day political and trade mission to Beijing and Shanghai, and China is now Ireland's sixth-largest food and drink export market.

Total trade with China was close to €9bn in 2012. Agri-food exports to China grew by over 40 per cent in 2013 to reach €390m.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said they used both 'Tanaiste' and 'Deputy Prime Minister' to refer to Eamon Gilmore.

"It seems that in this one instance the symbol for 'deputy' was omitted accidentally, and Bord Bia are aware of this. There are a different set of symbols for 'President', the spokesman said.

While the garish advert might be humorous to observe, the Government is convinced it plays an important role in developing important trade links.

Last year, Bord Bia established a 'Food Hub' in Shanghai, which provides a gateway for Irish companies that are hoping to crack the Chinese market.

Sunday Independent

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