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Minister Coveney welcomes the opening of the Singapore Market to the exports of Sheepmeat from Ireland

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today welcomed the agreement which has been reached with the veterinary authorities in Singapore which will allow for the importation of sheepmeat from Ireland. The Minister explained that this agreement was concluded following negotiations between his Department and the Singaporean authorities. This development is a sign of the good working relationship which has developed between the two countries which was enhanced by a successful inspection visit to Ireland by a high-level Singaporean veterinary delegation in July of 2011, which resulted in the opening of the market for Irish beef.

The Minister pointed out that Singapore is a key market in South East Asia and its system of administration is held in high esteem by other countries throughout the region and beyond. There is every reason to believe that the decision of the Singaporean authorities will have a positive effect on our efforts to gain access to other markets in the region.

The Minister added that "while the vast bulk of our sheepmeat is exported to the EU, non EU markets offer an important alternative outlet to our exporters, along with the real potential for expansion. Irish exporters now have access to Singapore, one of the most discerning markets in the world, for beef, sheepmeat, pigmeat and poultry.  I am firmly of the view that it is vital that Irish companies have access to as many markets worldwide as possible and my Department and I will continue to work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Bord Bia to this end".

Date Released: 20 July 2012