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Tánaiste to participate in virtual trade mission with companies from India, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and the US

Next week, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD will participate virtually in some major trade-related events. This will form part of the Government’s St Patrick’s Day programme. 

The Tánaiste said:

“Even though this year’s St Patrick’s Festival will be very different to previous years, we still intend to take the opportunity to promote Ireland abroad albeit not in person. The pandemic has proven how dependent we are on international trade from imports like vaccines and PPE to exports like food and ventilators. We are all inter-dependent in the modern world. 

“Despite an unprecedented and difficult year, we still recorded a net increase in exports and FDI-related jobs in 2020. The revenues generated by multinational companies and other exporters allowed us to fund business grants, the PUP and wage subsidies, as well as extra investment in healthcare and education, to an extent that would not otherwise have been possible.

“I’ll be taking part in a virtual trade mission over the coming days, participating in high-level meetings with companies from India, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and the US that have invested in Ireland already or are thinking of doing so. 

“When the public health emergency ends, we are going to have to trade our way out of the economic crisis it has caused back to full employment, and these events are crucial for building relationships and promoting Ireland as a location for investment.”


On Monday (15 March) the Tánaiste will participate in a webinar involving senior business executives from India. The webinar event will discuss a range of topics such as Ireland’s plan for recovery post pandemic, Indian-EU trade policy and Brexit as well as Ireland’s climate action plan and initiatives to support sustainable investment projects.

The Tánaiste said:

“Our trade with India is worth approximately €4.9 billion and Indian companies employ over 2,500 people here. India is a really important market for us as part of our overall strategy to diversify and open Ireland to new markets.”

Australia and China

The Tánaiste will also address a meeting of Australian buyers who have previously visited Ireland over recent years as part of the “Ireland Revisited” event series, which looks to maintain links with those who have previously done business in Ireland. 

There was a 15% increase in goods exports (up to €889 million) and a 14% increase in goods imports (up to €116 million) between Ireland and Australia in 2020. 

UK and Eurozone Events

Over the course of St Patrick’s Day, the Tánaiste will attend events promoting Irish business across the Eurozone and UK. The Tánaiste will address attendees during the Enterprise Ireland France and Germany Ready for a Green Future event, an online business seminar highlighting innovative sustainability solutions from Ireland.

The Tánaiste will attend a virtual UK event acknowledging and celebrating the unique relationship between Ireland and the UK. The event will also showcase Irish businesses which have helped in the fight against Covid-19, in both Ireland and the UK. Companies, such as Nearform, who has helped limit the spread of Covid-19 by creating the official contact tracing app of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Jersey; and Silvercloud, who has provided remote, on-demand, digital mental health and wellbeing care across the entire NHS, for both its workforce and patients, will be in attendance.

United States

On Tuesday, (16 March), the Tánaiste will speak with Lt Governor Eleni Kounalakis of California as part of an Enterprise Ireland event involving a number of companies from the Bay Area.  On St Patrick’s Day the Tánaiste and the Governor of Washington, Lt Gov Denny Heck will participate in another EI event focussing on the Ireland-US trade relationship in the wider Seattle area.

The Tánaiste said:

“As Trade Minister, I know how important these missions are for building new relationships, solidifying existing ones and winning new business for Ireland. These are companies which create thousands of jobs when they chose Ireland as their home. This year’s trade mission won’t be the same so we’re going to work twice as hard from home to make sure the results are the same.

Life Sciences

The Tánaiste will also be guest of honour at the IDA Life Sciences virtual roundtable on Monday, with key decisions makers and influencers of the US life science industry.  The sector as a whole, both multinational and indigenous, accounts for 39% of Irish goods exports, which was €62 billion in 2020. The US is Ireland’s largest trading partner with the total value of trade between the countries worth over €150 billion in 2019. 

The Tánaiste said:

“We are lucky that many of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world are based in Ireland and over 41,000 are employed in the biopharmaceutical sector here. I look forward to meeting with representatives from the US life sciences industry as we continue to welcome and grow their presence here in Ireland.” 


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, or (01) 631-2200