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Government plan to boost exports by €3bn in three years

MORE companies will have the opportunity to trade abroad following the launch of a Government initiative on exports designed to boost exports by €3bn by 2015.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton announced the scheme which is expected to benefit 1,800 companies this year.

"If we are to see the jobs recovery we so badly need, we must create a powerful engine of indigenous enterprise," said Mr Bruton.

"While exports continue to grow strongly, we must ensure that we achieve a substantial improvement in the export performance of Irish businesses."

The initiative sees a new exports division within government agency Enterprise Ireland.

It will provide practical support to local companies looking to branch into foreign markets and aims to increase the number of firms who receive a special exporter grant by 60pc this year.

Mr Bruton said: "I am determined that with the continued implementation of the action plan for jobs in 2012 and beyond, a new generation of exporters can drive our recovery and support the employment growth we are working so hard to achieve."

Mr Bruton, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore announced a separate scheme under the Government's action plan for jobs yesterday, aimed at attracting more foreign investment into Ireland.

The Government has promised to create 100,000 jobs across the country by 2016.