Ireland and LAC – Latin America and the Caribbean Business and Economic Forum

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD will host the inaugural Latin America and the Caribbean Business and Economic Forum in Dublin Castle today and deliver a keynote address under the theme “Ireland and LAC – Expanding Opportunity.”

The Forum is a key objective of the Global Ireland Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean to 2025, launched in 2022, and marks a new chapter for economic relations between Ireland and the region. This is the very first event of its kind and offers a unique platform for public and private sector leaders to build upon existing trade and investment links and develop new connections for the future.

Ireland and LAC – Latin America and the Caribbean Business and Economic Forum

The Tánaiste said:

“The Forum presents an excellent opportunity for Ireland and the region to reflect on how we can further enhance our economic cooperation and build new partnerships for inclusive and sustainable development.

“I think there are few nations in the world that are better suited partners for Ireland in this regard than those of the Latin America and Caribbean region. The theme of today’s Forum is “Expanding Opportunity”, which encapsulates this sentiment perfectly – and indeed, it was in recognition of this opportunity that we published our first-ever Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean last year under the Global Ireland programme. I am confident that the Forum will provide the momentum that we need to drive further forward movement – not just in the economic sphere, but also politically, culturally, multilaterally, and in terms of our shared values.”

Other speakers at the Forum will include Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett. From the Latin America and Caribbean region, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. E.P. Chet Greene, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Mr. Kerrie D. Symmonds, are scheduled to attend and deliver remarks, and the Forum will also see attendance from a number of other high-level attendees from across the region.

Minister of State Calleary said:

“Tomorrow’s Forum presents the start of an exciting new chapter in Ireland-LAC relations. The two-way trade figures between Ireland and the region are already remarkable, standing at 8 billion euro in services trade and 5 billion euro for merchandise trade per annum. These figures are considerably higher than five years ago in 2018, and we are confident there is opportunity to grow them even further. Trade is critical for the Irish economy, and as we look to consolidate, diversify and grow our export markets, it makes perfect sense for us to keep working with areas like Latin America and the Caribbean where the growth has been so strong and where the possibilities are so abundant.”

Minister of State Hackett added:

“As Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, I very much look forward to the Forum and its panel on Agrifood and Agritech. Agriculture lies at the heart of the Irish economy, and is also a key industry for most of the Latin American and Caribbean countries that will be represented at tomorrow’s event, and to what will be an interesting exchange on the opportunities and challenges in the sector. I look forward to discussing with prominent businesses and policy makers from Ireland and the LAC region Ireland’s commitment, to developing sustainable food systems and how we can collaborate with international partners in the region to ensure that together we are addressing global challenges associated with food security, climate change and protecting our environment.”

A key follow-up to the Forum will be the launch of an Ireland-LAC Chamber of Commerce, which will seek to encourage connections between companies operating in both regions.

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Steven Galvin

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