To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to open new embassies in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 28th February, 2017.
Ref No: 9799/17
My Department periodically reviews Ireland’s representation abroad, taking a range of factors into account when considering the expansion of the Embassy and Consular network overseas. These factors include our national political, economic and trade priorities. A further consideration is the availability of resources to expand the diplomatic network. In recent years, my Department has been able to achieve savings across the network (in the period 2009-2013, cost savings of 21% were achieved), while ensuring that the Government was in a position to open new embassies in Indonesia, Kenya, Croatia, Thailand and the Holy See. In addition, three new Consulates General were opened in the following cities: Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, and Austin, Texas. These locations were principally chosen on the basis of their strategic value in the promotion of Ireland’s economic interests. The Department is committed to keeping the Mission Network under review and to ensuring that it maintains the ability and agility to respond to new opportunities for Irish citizens and businesses.