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Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton visiting the Gulf Region on Trade Mission

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, will today depart for the Gulf where he will lead a large Trade Mission in the Region. He will be accompanied by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD.

The Trade Mission, lasting from 4th to 9th January, will include visits to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as part of the ongoing efforts to improve international linkages and boost trade and investment.

The Taoiseach will have a series of political and business engagements in each of the three countries. He will also meet with representatives of the Irish communities.

Speaking ahead of the visit the Taoiseach said, "I am delighted to begin 2014, which I have designated as the year of jobs, with a highly focused and ambitious Trade Mission to the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. This visit will strengthen our economic, political and cultural ties with these key priority markets for Ireland as well as providing an opportunity to explore new commercial opportunities and build on the strong educational links that exist between Ireland and the Gulf States.

Reflecting the strong focus of the visit on trade, investment and jobs, I will be accompanied by Minister Bruton and close to 90 companies across a range of sectors. I also look forward to meeting some of the recently arrived as well as many of the long standing Irish citizens living and working throughout the Gulf region."

Minister Bruton said: "The Action Plan for Jobs is aimed at building a sustainable, jobs-rich economy based on exports and enterprise. In order to deliver this we have put in place a range of new measures to support exporters, including doubling the number of trade missions since we took office. The Gulf offers huge opportunities for Irish business and this mission of 87 companies led by the Taoiseach demonstrates our commitment to delivering on that. I look forward to a productive week of work with tangible results for the Irish economy".

The visit and associated trade mission is expected to improve trade and business opportunities for Irish firms as well as to explore opportunities for greater investment in Ireland from the region. Particular areas of interest include financial services and software, aviation, education, telecommunications, agrifood and construction.

Note for editors:

· 109 senior executives from 87 Enterprise Ireland client companies are participating on the Trade Mission.

· Market opportunity: The countries visited on this Trade Mission represent approximately $1.5TRN in GDP with significant investment in sectors such as aviation, healthcare, ICT, infrastructure, water and construction.

· Market Research: For Irish companies looking at these markets for the first time, Enterprise Ireland has a large and comprehensive research database and capabilities, companies can access this through

· Connectivity: There are 17 flights per week from Ireland to Dubai or Abu Dhabi with excellent onward connectivity within 3 hours to markets such as Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

· Projects: Global projects such as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, or 2020 World Expo in Dubai will be catalysts for broad economic expansion in the host countries and beyond.

· Enterprise Ireland: Have had offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since the mid 80’s and in Dubai since 2002. EI would encourage client companies to liaise with their primary Enterprise Ireland contact if they are interested in this market.


Note certain elements remain subject to confirmation including time and location

Sunday, 5 January, RIYADH (Riyadh = GMT+3)

8.30 Breakfast meeting & Panel session with Business Delegation.

Venue: Sheraton Hotel, Riyadh.

10:00 Meeting with HE Dr. Khalid Mohammed A. Al Ankary KSA, Minister for Higher Education

Venue: Ministry of Higher Education, Riyadh

11.00 Corporate/business meetings

16.00 Meeting and commercial announcements at Absal Paul (John Paul Construction Saudi corporate entity)

Venue: Absal Paul HQ

17.30 Commercial announcements

Venue: Embassy of Ireland

19.00 Business networking event

Venue: Embassy of Ireland

Monday, 6 January, RIYADH (Riyadh = GMT+3)

Date & Time TBC Meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

11:00 Meeting with HRH Crown Prince Salman, Deputy Premier & Minister for Defence

12:30 Meeting with Ireland Saudi Arabia Business Council.

Venue: Council of Saudi Chambers, Riyadh

13.00 Business meeting

Venue: Council of Saudi Chambers, Riyadh.

15:30 Visit to Al Mamsak Fort

Tuesday, 7 January, DOHA (Doha = GMT+3)

09:00 Corporate/business meeting

10:30 Meeting with Qatari Prime Minister, H.E. Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani.

12:00 Meeting with HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar

13:00 Meeting with Qatar Business Association.

Venue: Marriott Renaissance City Centre Hotel, Doha

15.00 Corporate/business meetings

17:00 Commercial announcements

Venue: Marriott Courtyard/Renaissance City Centre Hotel

18:30 Business networking event with Irish Qatari Business Council.

Venue: Marriott Courtyard/Renaissance City Centre Hotel, Doha

Wednesday, 8 January, ABU DHABI (Abu Dhabi = GMT+4)

08:15 Corporate/business meeting

10:00 Meeting with Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce B2B

Venue: Chamber of Commerce

TBC Meeting with HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nayhan, Minister for Foreign Affairs

13:00 Meeting with Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce.

Venue: Royal Meridian Hotel

15:00 Corporate/business meeting

16:30 Visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

18.30 Commercial announcements

Venue: Radisson Blu, Yas Island

19:30 Business networking event hosted by Embassy of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.

Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel

Thursday, 9 January, DUBAI (Dubai = GMT+4)

08:30 Dubai Health Authority Workshop

Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai

09:15 Corporate/business meeting

10.30 TBC Visit to Burj Al Khalifa

12:00 Meeting with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Venue: Zabeel Palace, Dubai

14:00 Official opening of Glenbeigh Records Management facility at Dubai Work Central.

Venue: Dubai World Central

16.00 Roundtable meeting with Senior Irish Dubai based business leaders

Venue: Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

17:30 Tourism Ireland key partner meeting.

Venue: Jumeirah Creekside hotel, Dubai

18:00 Commercial announcements

Venue: Jumeirah Creekside hotel, Dubai

19:00 Embassy, EI and Dubai Irish Business Network and Dubai Irish Society networking event.

Venue: Jumeirah Creekside hotel, Dubai.