Top-level Chinese visit over beef trade
A high-level Chinese delegation arrived in Dublin last night in the latest step towards commencing Irish beef exports to the Asian giant, Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said.
Ireland had its beef exports ban to China lifted last February in a major diplomatic and political coup that followed the lifting of the US ban on Irish beef.
At a business networking event in Iveagh House last night, Mr Flanagan said the visiting delegation would be in Ireland for 12 days.
"Tonight, as we speak, there is a high-level Chinese inspection team arriving in Dublin for a 12-day visit, which we believe is the next stage in completing the technical requirements to allow exports of Irish beef there to commence," Mr Flanagan said.
The minister also announced a new economic diplomacy strategy to be spearheaded by the department and its 80-strong embassy network.
He said a new programme of locally hired commercial attachés would be introduced into the embassy network.
Market promotion funds would also be provided to "give our embassies more capacity and autonomy to pursue trade and wider promotional opportunities", Mr Flanagan said.
The links between the embassy network and Irish business will also be deepened through a new programme of secondments.
"It is widely accepted that embassies are particularly effective at opening doors for Irish businesses overseas and for providing important advice and networking opportunities for companies trying to break into new markets," the minister said.
"Economic diplomacy is a critical part of our country's exporting trade success."
"I believe there is an opportunity for Irish embassies to become even more active in assisting Irish exporting companies overseas."
Mr Flanagan said the embassy network feeds back critical information and opportunities to the private sector.