Irish Prime Minister to visit India | india | Hindustan Times
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Irish Prime Minister to visit India

The Irish PM Bertie Ahern will visit India next Sunday accompanied by a delegation team of 90 companies and three ministers.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 19:00 IST

The Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern will visit India next Sunday accompanied by a delegation team of 90 companies and three ministers on a trade mission. It will also be for the first time that companies from Northern Ireland will be travelling as part of the delegation.

Total imports into India last year were in the order of €102 billion, 52% of those from the EU, but only a very small part of this were from Irish companies. Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Michael Martin admitted in Dublin that India is "not one of our biggest trading partners," but said that this trade mission's aim is to improve this relationship. He said that India has only liberalised its trade laws in the last ten years and the country is being targeted as part of the Government's Asia Strategy.

Among the companies which are part of the delegation, those from the ICT sector - financial services, telecom services - and the education services sector are the most prominent, while there is also a mix of companies from the food, professional and management services, engineering services, biotechnology, tourism and the Irish thoroughbred industries.

Martin said the trade mission is an exploratory one with an emphasis on Irish companies getting a presence in the Indian market.