QATAR - Diplomacy
Minister for Development, Trade Promotion, and North-South Co-operation, Republic of Ireland
HE Seán Sherlock is the Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North-South Co-operation. He was appointed to this role in July 2014 having previously served as Minister of State Research and Innovation with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and the Department of Education and Skills. He was first elected to represent Cork East in Dáil Éireann in May 2007. He was educated at Patrician Academy, Mallow, College of Commerce, Cork, and UCG where he studied for a BA in Economics and Politics.
Qatar and Ireland have an excellent relationship that is going from strength to strength, with an increasing number of official visits confirming this. Many Irish companies are doing business in Qatar, and more and more Irish people are making their home there and contributing to the development of the country. The Irish Qatari Business Council was set up in Doha in 2012, and works to promote business and trade between Irish and Qatari entities. And as the Irish community in Qatar grows—I know the Qatar Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is very active and successful, with a membership that competes regularly in regional GAA tournaments.
An indication of the priority we assign to cooperation between our countries can be seen from the number of ministerial visits and trade missions to Qatar over the last 12 months. Minister Simon Coveney led a trade mission with food and agriculture related companies in October 2013, followed by the largest ever Irish trade mission to Qatar, led by the Taoiseach in January 2014, which covered a wide number of different sectors. Following that, in June 2014, Minister Joe Costello led another trade mission to Qatar, which included companies in the construction and engineering, information technology, and health sectors. All these missions have been successful and work to increase and intensify the economic cooperation and trade relations between our countries. Enterprise Ireland, the government organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets, have opened an office in Qatar with a representative based full time in Qatar, which is another indication of the priority Ireland assigns to the relationship.
I am confident that relations between Qatar and Ireland will continue to go from strength to strength. I believe that Ireland and Irish companies can make a positive contribution to Qatar’s development in respect of the Development Plan 2030 in each of the four areas of human, social, economic, and environmental development. In terms of trade, I am confident that there is huge scope for Irish companies to continue and increase their contribution to the economic development of Qatar, given the extraordinary achievements of recent years, the scale of current and planned development, the opportunities across virtually all sectors, and the exciting path toward the future. Our vision is for Ireland to become the best small country in the world with which to do business by 2015, and I trust we will be able to demonstrate this in our dealings with Qatar. On a personal level, having recently taken over this portfolio, I look forward to leading the continued development of these relations.