Wednesday 21 February 2018

Enterprise Ireland gets staff boost as it targets business in China and India

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor. Photo: Tom Burke
Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Enterprise Ireland (EI) is to get 39 extra staff who will be tasked with growing trade from countries such as China and India, and Latin America and Africa.

The announcement will be part of Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor's contribution to a major forum on Brexit to be held in Leitrim today.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor will meet with the heads of the agencies leading Ireland's response in terms of trade and employment.

The IDA is to recruit nine additional staff as part of what Ms Mitchell O'Connor will say is the plan to capitalise on the opportunities emerging from the UK's EU departure.

"Ireland's value proposition remains strong including, in particular, our continued ­membership of the EU and access to the single market. We are very much open for business," Ms Mitchell O'Connor said.

Among those attending a stakeholder engagement event in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, are senior representatives of EI, the IDA, IBEC, ICTU and the British-Irish Chamber.

"We have a clear plan of action and are fully committed to supporting business to deal with the challenges and opportunities posed by the UK exit from the EU," she said.

Meanwhile, a separate forum to be held in Dublin today will hear that children will need to be carefully factored into the Brexit negotiations.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone will meet with young people from across the country in Croke Park along with a number of advocacy bodies.

In advance of the meeting, the Children's Rights Alliance reiterated its calls to Government to ensure children in Ireland are protected from the fallout from a hard Brexit. "Our concerns for children relate to poverty, child protection loopholes, harsh border controls, the status of human rights in the Good Friday Agreement, and the Common Travel Area," chief executive Tanya Ward said.

She said the economic shock that will result from Brexit "may cause poverty rates to sky-­rocket on both sides of the Border".

The National Youth Council of Ireland - which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide - noted that Ireland has one of the youngest populations in Europe, with one-third aged under 25.

Irish Independent

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