‘Potential for further growth of Irish exports to southeast Asia’

There is considerable potential for further growth of Irish exports to southeast Asia, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

Minister Creed recently met with Ambassadors and diplomats from the ten southeast Asian member countries of the ASEAN Economic Community.

This ASEAN community is made up of Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Brunei Darussalam.

Building new market opportunities is a vital part of Ireland’s strategy for the development of the agri-food sector, and is even more important against the background of Brexit, Minister Creed said.

The value and volume of trade in agri-products to ASEAN countries is already significant, but there is considerable potential for further growth in the years to come.

“Developing positive relationships, and increasing Ireland’s profile as a centre of excellence across a range of disciplines related to the production of safe, high quality food, is a critical part of our strategy.

“The ambassadors were interested to hear of Ireland’s plans under Food Wise 2025 to grow its agri-food exports from €11 billion in 2015 to €19 billion in 2025.

“Trade from Ireland to the ASEAN countries continues to grow across many different sectors of the economy. I was delighted to have the opportunity to reiterate our commitment to furthering this important relationship,” he said.

The member countries of the the ASEAN community comprise the seventh largest economy in the world, with a collective consumer population of over 620m people.

Merchandise trade between Ireland and the ASEAN countries was valued at approximately €2.5 billion in 2014, and the value of Ireland’s agri-food exports to the region in 2015 was almost €200m.

The Department’s active engagement in opening new markets and expanding existing ones is running against the background of Brexit.

Minister Creed briefed the Asian Ambassadors and diplomats on Ireland’s strategic plan to increase the value of agri-food exports to €19 billion by 2025.

Last September, Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle visited Vietnam, one of the larger members of ASEAN, as part of a major agri-food trade mission to the Far East which was led by Minister Creed.