Minister Donohoe travels to Japan & South Korea for St. Patrick’s Day to promote strong and growing trade

12th March, 2017

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, will today (Sunday) travel to Japan and South Korea as part of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day Programme, the aim of which is strengthen international trade links and send a message around he world that Ireland is open and a secure location for business (brief outline of itinerary below).


Speaking in advance of the visit, Minister Donohoe said; ‘It is a tremendous honour to represent Ireland on the global stage at any point in the year. But to do so on St. Patrick’s Day – a day when the world goes green – is something really special’.


“In this changing world in which many global uncertainties now exist, it is even more important that Ireland avails of the opportunity St. Patrick’s day presents to send a clear signal that we are a steady and stable place in which to do business; that we are committed to our future in the EU and that the values of openness, connectedness and inclusivity within a globalised economy are things that we hold dear.


“This week the Taoiseach launched Ireland’s new trade strategy: ‘Ireland Connected: Trading and Investing in a Dynamic World’, a target of which is to increase our indigenous exports, including food, by more than a quarter by 2020. Working to develop Ireland’s profile, working with our diaspora, and building relationships at all levels are all included in the strategy as keys to our future success.


“Our links with Japan and Korea, while well established, have been strengthening in recent years. This year Ireland and Japan celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations; something which is worth celebrating. In trade terms, the deepening of our relationships in this part of the world can be seen by the fact that last year Irish goods exports to South Korea increased by 70% on 2015.


“Included in the programme will be meetings with the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia and meetings with Ministerial counterparts, business groups and our diaspora in both countries. Acknowledgment will also be paid to the Irish dead of the Korean War in a wreath laying ceremony in Seoul.  


“And of course, no St. Patrick’s Day trip would be complete without the legendary ‘greening’ of iconic sites. This year South Korea will have two sites being greened for first time. They are Seoul City Hall and Gwangan Bridge in Busan; Spouth Korea’s second largest city. In Japan, the castle in Matsue is being lit, also for the first time – in recognition of the the anniversary of our diplomatic relationship – and the Torii gate at Ise will be greened as in recent years.”




South Korea:

  • Launch of Irish Food Week
  • Meeting with Irish Korean Business Network
  • Wreath laying ceremony at the memorial to the Irish dead of the Korean War
  • EI/IDA Client meetings
  • Meet with young Irish community in Korea
  • Meetings with Financial Services sector
  • Address at Yonsei University


  • Address JETRO (Japan External Trade Organisation) Seminar
  • Meet with Minister Nobuteru ISHIHARA; Minister for Economic Revitalization; Reform of Social Security and Tax; Economic and Fiscal Policy
  • Speech at EU Seminar – Japan National Press Club
  • Meet IDA/EI clients
  • Visit I Love Ireland Festival
  • Bord Bia/Ward Fish (Donegal) event
  • Attend St Patrick’s Day reception for Irish community and Japanese friends of Ireland, marking 60th Anniversary of diplomatic relations