Trade Portfolio And Improvements In Passport Service Welcomed

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade has welcomed the addition of the trade portfolio to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Chairman of Committee Deputy Pat Breen said: “International trade will form a critical element of foreign policy and the Department and our embassies abroad are uniquely positioned to help develop trade and this Committee will do all in its power to help promote trade in existing and new markets and support Ireland as a destination for foreign direct investment.”

The Committee also welcomed the Government’s commitment to the 0.7 per cent GNP target for official development assistance.

Chairman Breen said: “While the Committee recognises that we live in difficult economic circumstances at home and that meeting our targets will be a challenge, it is important that we continue to honour our commitments which have a very positive effect on many people in developing countries.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs also told the Committee that an increased level of resources had been committed to the Passport office in an effort to meet the unprecedented level of demand.

Commenting on this Pat Breen said: “The Committee is heartened to hear that the pressure seems to be abating gradually and that the peak has now passed at the Passport Office and we look forward to a resumption of normal activity and service.

“I would like to thank the Tanaiste and also Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan for attending the Committee meeting and I look forward to them attending the Committee at a future date to update us on future policy priorities for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”


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