It’s time to adapt our diplomatic service to the changing international environment – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that it is time for Ireland’s diplomatic service to adapt to current and future international priorities in a rapidly changing world.

“Over the next 20 years, 90% of growth will come from outside the EU, mostly in emerging markets. New global powers are emerging such as India and Brazil. It is time for Ireland to take stock of the changing international landscape and adapt its diplomatic position where it is most needed. Our diplomatic service is well-represented in Europe while under-represented in many of the developing regions of the world.”

“In South America we only have two resident Ambassadors. In Asia our presence is growing but we still have no permanent embassy in Thailand and the Philippines, two of the world’s fastest developing economies. We have only just now set up an embassy in Indonesia which was long overdue.

“What is clearly positive about our diplomatic service is our footprint in the world’s largest economies – the US, China and the UK. We have established long and lasting diplomatic ties with each of these countries and that will serve us well into the future.

“Ireland has a good history of international relations. We have a well-recognised footprint all over the world. But we should think smart for the future and look to where growth will come. We need to invest in stronger relations with new trading partners. Our presence needs to be more prominent in Africa, Asia and South America. This is not just about establishing a diplomatic connection but also about boosting business and investment potential which will in turn deliver more jobs and growth.”

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