Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, today met the Hon. John Baird, PC, MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada in Dublin to discuss international issues, bilateral relations, trade opportunities and migration.
Speaking about their meeting at Iveagh House, Minister Flanagan said:
“Ireland has a very strong relationship with Canada and our bilateral relations are deepening and broadening from this already excellent base. During the course of our meeting, Minister Baird and I discussed how to further strengthen our economic and trading relationship.
“Ireland hopes to be at the forefront of those EU member states capitalising on the recent conclusion of negotiations on the EU-Canada trade agreement known as CETA. This important trade and investment agreement with our Canadian partners offers a potential for about €200 million in extra annual trade for Ireland. It removes over 95% of tariffs between the two economies and creates new market access opportunities in services and investment.
“We also reviewed the Canada-Ireland Working Holiday Programme which this year alone will enable over 14,000 young Irish to work and live in Canada for two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension. Meanwhile, we are pleased to see a strong rise in Canadian participation in the working holiday scheme here in Ireland, with applications from Canadian citizens up around 30% on last year.
“Our discussion also covered key international issues, particularly Ukraine, the Middle East and the Ebola outbreak. We agreed to maintain contact at political and official level on these and other issues.”
The Ministers also discussed the Government’s plans for memorials for the late Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty who died in April this year. On 30 October, the President will honour Jim Flaherty’s memory through a posthumous Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.