The UK and US have long been Ireland’s most important trade and investment partners accounting for over 240,000 jobs in Ireland directly or indirectly working for American companies and British-Irish trade supporting directly and indirectly over 400,000 jobs in Ireland and the UK. These close economic ties are worth €124 billion in bilateral goods and services traded each year between Ireland and the UK and US. At a special event in Dublin last night, hosted jointly by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, His Excellency Dominick Chilcott, UK Ambassador to Ireland and His Excellency Kevin F. O’Malley, US Ambassador to Ireland discussed their reflections on this vital relationship.
US Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Kevin F. O’Malley said ‘Our bilateral business relationship, which is valued today at $512 billion in two-way investment and trade, was built on the familial and personal ties that have long linked our countries, and now our economic ties help forge new personal links across the Atlantic. Ireland and the United States have a thriving economic relationship which is very much a two-way street, with Irish companies investing in the United States in addition to the American companies operating here. I believe my grandparents would be both pleased and amazed to see how this relationship has grown, and continues to expand across the business, education, and culture spectrum.’
UK Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Dominick Chilcott said ‘The British-Irish trading relationship matters hugely to both countries. Over 40% of the exports of indigenous Irish companies go to the UK. And Ireland is the UK’s fifth most valuable export market for goods and sixth for services. Our economies are increasingly integrated so that when one of us is doing well, it helps the other. The Common Travel Area allows our peoples to move freely back and forth across the Irish Sea. We reckon that about 500,000 Irish nationals now live in the UK. In business, some 55,000 directors of British companies are Irish – more than from any other overseas country. In fact, Irish people contribute to all walks of British life. In the centenary of 1916, it is a great pleasure to say that Ireland and Britain have become good neighbours and even better friends. ’
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD said ‘Britain and the United States are our friends. Our neighbours to our east and west. And by far our two biggest trading partners, something this audience of business leaders is testament to. Tonight is a unique opportunity to hear from the two Ambassadors on their own reflections on this partnership and the strategic issues which face us all in the period ahead. I also look forward to listening to their thoughts on what we can do together to grow even further the business links we enjoy’.