Trade between with Russia is a fraction of what is possible with this the 8th largest economy, hence new trade and economic cooperation agreement signed by Tánaiste is important for Irish exporters.
The Ireland Russia Business Association (IRBA), subsidiary of The Irish Exporters Association (IEA), the national trade body representing and promoting the business interests of Ireland’s 4,000 exporters, welcomes the announcement today that the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore, T.D. wrapped up his official visit to Russia today with the signing of an agreement on a programme for trade and economic cooperation between Ireland and Russia.
The IRBA understand that the keys areas that the trade and economic cooperation agreement will focus on are trade development in education, agriculture, transport, energy, and information technology, which is in line with the IRBA submission to Government ahead of the inter-government meeting on the 7th.
The IRBA advised that: trade between Ireland and Russia in the first seven months of 2011 accounted for only €70m in imports and €311m in exports. In terms of FDI to Ireland, IDA has only 2 client companies of Russian origin employing 27 people. These numbers are a fraction of what should be possible with world’s 8th largest economy that has the highest per capita income amongst all BRIC economies.
The IRBA, however, are encouraged by the signing of the Trade Development Agreement which it and the IEA had been lobbying the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade to put in place as a first step to more rapid trade expansion with Russia.
We hope that in addition to re-launching the important work of the Joint Economic Council as a part of the Government-to-Government initiative, the new agreement will facilitate development of a working dialogue between the Irish Government Departments and the companies currently engaged in trade and investment with Russia. We also note that the lack of signficiant information exchanges and data flows between the two countries currently holds back trade and investment development. Irish exporters Association and IRBA have expressed their commitment to participating in the process of building bilateral data and information exchanges to assist Irish exporters and Russian investors interested in advancing bilateral trade and investment flows.
Despite the low exports sales volume the IRBA noted that year on year, exports to Russia are up 53.5%, with imports though are now down 31.3% year on year. For seven months through July 2011, Irish trade balance with Russia was €241mln, up on €122mln for the same period in 2010.
Of all BRIC countries, Russia was the only country that delivered improved trade surplus for Ireland.
A full copy of the IRBA submission to the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign affairs and Trade can be had at this link.
Ireland Russia Business Association. 7th Nov 2011.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore, T.D. wrapped up his official visit to Russia yesterday with the signing of an agreement on a programme for trade and economic cooperation between Ireland and Russia. This will involve a new level of engagement between Irish Government Departments and State Agencies with their Russian counterparts.
This was preceded by a meeting at which the Tánaiste and the Russia Foreign Minister also signed a partnership agreement in the context of EU/Russia cooperation and Russia’s forthcoming accession to the WTO.
Speaking afterwards, the Tánaiste commented:
“The agreements signed with our Russian partners provide a comprehensive platform for increased trade between the two countries. It is clear that that there is potential to increase exports from Ireland to Russia in key sectors such as education, agriculture, transport, energy, and information technology. By taking advantage of the opportunities that exist and playing to our strengths we can deliver the export-led growth needed to bring about recovery in Ireland’s economy”.
Earlier yesterday the Tánaiste met members of the Global Irish Network to discuss business and investment opportunities for Irish companies. He also addressed a business breakfast attended by representatives of indigenous Irish companies and their Russian counterparts. In his address the Tánaiste said:
“I am convinced that there are many opportunities for Russian companies to do business in Ireland in sectors such as ICT, energy and energy efficiency, aviation, engineering, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, food and drink industry, education and training, and research and development. There is also great scope to increase Russian investment in Ireland”.
The full text of the Tánaiste’s remarks can be found on the DFA website at: http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=87274.
The Tánaiste’s talks with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, covered a range of issues of international interest including developments in the Middle East and, in particular, areas of shared interest which arise in the context of Ireland’s upcoming chairmanship-in office of the OSCE in 2012. The Tánaiste said:
“This has been a very constructive and productive visit to Russia. It is also a timely visit as Ireland prepares to take over the helm of the OSCE in January. The contacts we have made with our Russian hosts, Ministers Lavrov and Okulov, will help to strengthen the relationship between our two countries to our mutual benefit”.
At an event organised at the Irish Embassy in Moscow yesterday evening, attended by members of the Irish community, Russian government officials and business and cultural contacts, the Tánaiste launched ‘Education in Ireland’, the new umbrella brand for marketing the Irish higher education and English language sectors to international students.
7 November 2011
Following the round-table held a week earlier, IRBA submitted recommendations on what issues are of concern in bi-lateral trade between Ireland and Russia to Eamon Gilmore, the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Download executive summary here (PDF, 120kB).
Roundtable: What business needs from the government to help with trade development – Input for Government Joint Economic Commission
Eamon Gilmore, the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade is visiting Moscow in the first week of November to chair an invigorated Joint Economic Commission between Irish and Russian officials on trade facilitation. He has asked that the IRBA submit a set of recommendations on what issues are of concern in bi-lateral trade between Ireland and Russia in the areas of export, import, investment, travel and tourism.
We would greatly appreciate input in the formulation of this important position paper to the Tanaiste and welcome feedback, requests and proposals from members of industry currently engaged in trade between these two countries.
Please note the closing date for submissions is Tuesday, the 18th of October 2011.
A roundtable discussion will be held on the 18th of October. Note: this event is open to IRBA members, and by invitation only.