By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Coveney visits Benelux Countries to Promote Irish Trade and Tourism

'Close trading and cultural links are strongly enhanced by the contribution of the Irish communities based in Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg'

While speaking at a St Patrick's Day event today in Belgium the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D. expressed his condolence with the Belgian people, and in particular the families, relatives and friends of those affected by the recent tragic accident Switzerland.

The Minister's visit to Belgium was part of a programme of Irish trade and cultural events in the Benelux countries for the St Patrick's Day weekend. The Minister noted that such links provided an important opportunity to support Irish companies doing food business in these markets and to promote the story behind Ireland's ambitious and sustainable food industry, family farms and natural environment. He emphasised that Ireland's close trading and cultural relationships with the Benelux countries are strongly enhanced by the contribution of the Irish communities based in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg.

Minister Coveney noted that the Netherlands alone accounted for €425m for Irish agri-food exports in 2010 including €139m in beef exports, €127m in dairy exports (primarily butter, milk, cheese and casein) as well as €51m in other consumer foods, €26m worth of tea products and €14m in live exports. 

Note for Editors

Minister Simon Coveney's Itinerary for Saint Patrick's Day related Visit to Benelux Countries

15th March-Netherlands

Enterprise Ireland Business Breakfast
Summary: Minister to give an address following breakfast on Ireland's economic position and macroeconomic performance.
Followed by Q&A and individual meetings with journalists.
followed by
Meeting with Friesland Campina (5th largest Dairy Group in the world) 

Bord Biá/Tourism Ireland Lunch
Minister to meet with members of Chef's Irish Beef Club, key commercial clients in the Netherlands, Irish producers and food journalists. Minister to give address on Irish food and drink exports and food tourism.

Irish Community Reception:Location: Ambassador's residenceSummary: Minister to meet with members of Irish community, Dutch officials, representatives of international organisations and diplomatic community. Minister to give address.
Enterprise Ireland Business Dinner:
Dylan Hotel
Summary:  Minister to give main address and meet with key economic contacts among 80 attendees (EI, Bord Biá, IDA, TI targeted guests).

16th March Luxembourg
Embassy Reception
Location: Embassy
In Luxembourg, Minister will be guest of honour at a lunchtime event hosted by the Embassy for circa 200 political contacts, clients of the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland, senior Irish business leaders, and EU officials

Followed by
Bilateral with Minister Schneider

Transit to Brussels


Meeting with IDA Clients

Location: Sofitel Hotel
Summary: Meeting with Enterprise Ireland clients and their Belgian business partners.
City Hall Receptions

Location: Grand Place, Brussels
Summary: 2 elements

Business reception at City Hall Grand Place, Brussels, with Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.  

Irish community reception at City Hall, Grand Place Brussels

17th March Brussels

Business Breakfast

Location: Sofitel Hotel
Summary: Business breakfast with CEO of Spano Group

Food Company Visit

Location: Metro Bruxelles, Quai des usines, 22/23 1000 Bruxelles
Summary: Visit to the Irish premium beef and lamb promotion and sampling in the Brussels Metro Cash & Carry.

Reception and EI Client Event

Venue: City Hall

St. Patrick’s Day Ball

Venue: Irish Club of Belgium, Conrad Hotel, Brussels

Summary: This is the Irish Community’s main annual event, with some 400 attendees from the wider Irish and Belgian communities.

Date Released: 16 March 2012