Today (15-March-2017) Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure & Reform begins a programme of engagements in Toronto and Montreal. Commenting on his programme he noted,
I look forward to advancing a relationship built on a shared commitment to open trade and multilateralism. Our common language and legal tradition and strong cultural ties make Ireland the ideal gateway for Canadian business and investment into the European Union.
Annual trade between Ireland and Canada, the world’s 10th largest economy, exceeds €2.75 billion – a figure expected to increase by a further €250 million with the advent of the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA).
Accordingly the Minister’s programme prioritises his Financial Services and Public Procurement portfolios. This includes a bilateral with the Ontario Minister for Finance, several IDA Ireland meetings with significant Canadian financial services companies, and an Enterprise Ireland facilitated tour of Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District – considered one of the world’s largest SME innovation hubs. Regarding this trade element he commented,
The Canada-EU Agreement will support increased investment into Ireland and give Irish SMEs easier access to a sophisticated, hi-income market. These are trade imperatives we must continue to act on in pursuit of a stable and prosperous future. CETA also opens up the Canadian public procurement market which, in tandem with the Canadian Federal Government’s recently announced multi-billion infrastructure investment programme, offers a means for Irish companies to diversify into new markets.
The cultural programme reflects the past and present of Irish migration to Canada. In Toronto, part of a province where one-in-six inhabitants claim Irish ethnic origin, the Minister will support the Ireland Park Foundation’s efforts to commemorate those Canadians who died caring for the thousands of Irish famine arrivals of the late 1840s.
He will also visit the Irish Canadian Immigration Centre, established to assist young Irish immigrants arriving in the wake of the International Financial Crisis – a figure that peaked at 14,000 per year during the recession. Commenting on this Minister Murphy noted,
It is right to now highlight the rich tapestry of Irish migration to Canada. This shared heritage illustrates how migration can be a force that binds countries together as opposed to one that divides.
The Minister’s programme concludes in Montreal on Sunday (19-March-2017) where he will meet representatives of the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce and Irish community organisations before joining the Mayor of Montreal – Grand Marshal of this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade – in celebrating its 375 year history as the oldest parade in Canada.