G’day Coveney

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney is among the plethora of government ministers jetting off this week to far flung parts of the world to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. And our lucky farm minister will be boarding a plane to Australia and New Zealand this evening.

In a jam-packed programme the minister will visit Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, before moving on to Wellington and Auckland.

During the visit Minister Coveney will promote trade, investment and tourism with Ireland where he will meet Irish community groups and senior political figures including his ministerial counterparts in Australia and New Zealand.

Not forgetting his brief as Minister for Agriculture, he noted: ““New Zealand has been notably successful in building its dairy industry into a global player and had the opportunity to expand greatly over the years when Ireland was held back due to EU quota limits on our milk output. I want to learn more of the approach adopted and to see what lessons learned there might apply.”

Before leaving on his visit Minister Coveney said he was looking forward to the intensive programme of engagements over the St Patrick’s Day festival.

The minister added: “I welcome the opportunity to meet Irish communities, in particular those who have recently emigrated. I want to learn of the challenges they face and how the Government might best support them. I want to ensure also that they are aware of the Government’s approach to addressing the challenges facing the country and the positive impact this is having on growth in the economy, in particular in creating jobs.”

Referring to trade and business events during his visit, the minister said: “Irish exporters are growing the market for their goods and services in Australia and New Zealand. Enterprise Ireland clients are increasingly successful in the software and high technology, and the engineering and construction sectors. I will be meeting those directly involved as well as senior corporate figures to see how I can help to increase their exports into the market, thus helping to create more jobs in Ireland. I am particularly keen also to explore the opportunities that exist for the agri-food sector.”