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Taoiseach launches new trade strategy - Ireland Connected

Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Transport Minister Shane Ross today launched Ireland Connected: Trading and Investing in a Dynamic World, a cohesive, whole-of-government strategy that builds on existing successes and sets ambitious targets for Ireland’s exports, foreign direct investment, tourism and international education. Ireland Connected is the successor to the previous Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy, which ran from 2010 to 2015 and saw extraordinary success despite low growth in the global economy during that period. 

The new strategy will deepen Ireland’s economic resilience and responsiveness in the face of highly changeable global conditions by intensifying our business development activity in existing markets and diversifying into new regions, some of the key targets will include:

• Increase our indigenous exports, including food, to reach €26 billion by 2020 – up by 26% from 2015 
• Generate 30,000 more jobs in tourism by 2020 and €5 billion in overseas tourism revenues by 2025 
• Secure 900 new foreign direct investments in the period 2015-2019 
• Increase our international student numbers by 27% to reach 176,500 by the academic year 2019/2020 
• Intensify and diversify 80% of indigenous export growth to 2020 to be outside of the UK market and maintain exports of at least €7.5 billion to the UK 

Launching the strategy, the Taoiseach said:

Ireland is one of the world’s most open, export-based economies and our new trade strategy “Ireland Connected” sets out our strategic plan for the years ahead. While we are determined to preserve the gains that we have made so painstakingly over recent years, Brexit has the potential to reshape Ireland’s enterprise and export strategy for decades to come. Ireland's immediate priority will be to further diversify and intensify our engagement with non-UK markets, with a particular emphasis on the Eurozone. By working together we are confident that with the right policies and cross-Government commitment we will continue to attract FDI, overseas visitors and international students, and to help Irish businesses reach into new markets.

Read the full Ireland Connected document here and the summary report here.