Taoiseach to meet with President François Hollande in Paris


22 October 2012

The Taoiseach will travel to France today to meet with President François Hollande. This will be first bilateral meeting between the two leaders in one of their capitals since President Hollande's election in May 2012.
The Taoiseach and President Hollande will discuss Eurozone issues, preparations for the Irish EU Presidency and bilateral relations. The meeting forms part of the Taoiseach's ongoing engagement with other EU Leaders and European Heads of Government.

Before his meeting with the French President, the Taoiseach will attend a business event hosted by the Embassy for Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Bord Bia clients. This will be an opportunity to deliver a strong message to French business people and investors, and to the diaspora, that Ireland is open for business. The Taoiseach will also meet the France-based members of the Global Irish Network and 'Network Irlande' the Franco-Irish business network.

Later, the Taoiseach will launch Bord Bia's 'Origin Green' initiative at SIAL the world's largest food fairs. The 'Origin Green' initiative will enhance Ireland's international reputation as a source of natural, high quality, sustainable food, drink and ingredients. At a event reception organised by Bord Bia, the Taoiseach will meet with French and international buyers at SIAL.


Note to Editors

France is Ireland's 4th largest export market in the world - the 3rd largest for Irish indigenous company exports (after US & UK); 2nd largest global market for food & drinks; 1st for seafood and lamb.

According to the CSO the two-way trade in goods and services between Ireland and France in 2011 was €14.8 billion. Ireland's trade surplus with France is €4.8 billion. France is the number 4 source in the world for tourist visits into Ireland (approaching 400,000).

France is the fourth largest source of FDI into Ireland by number of companies assisted by IDA. Enterprise Ireland's latest figures indicate that Irish indigenous exporters grew their exports to France by some 14% in 2011. Tourist flows from France to Ireland grew at the same rate.SIAL is the world's largest food trade fairs and expects to see over 140,000 international visitors this year, of which approximately 38% will be French buyers.

There will also be 5,900 exhibitors from 100 countries. Irish exhibitors will be present in the meat and dairy halls under an Origin Green pavilion.

This year marks the 19th year of Ireland's participation at SIAL and the show is a crucial landmark on the trade calendar. This is the first trade fair where Bord Bia will launch Origin Green internationally. This year, 14 Irish meat companies and 1 Irish dairy cooperative will exhibit on the Origin Green pavilion managed by Bord Bia. A further 3 Irish companies, ABP Food Group, Future Nutrition and Green Isle will exhibit independently.