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Minister Coveney leads St. Patrick’s Day visit and trade mission to India and Bangladesh

L to R: Jenny Melia, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland; Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney T.D. and Ambassador of Ireland to India, Kevin Kelly


Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney T.D. is this week conducting a seven-day official visit to India and Bangladesh as part of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day programme. 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and India, and the Minister will attend events organised by the Embassy of Ireland in New Delhi and Consulate General in Mumbai to celebrate this milestone.

The Minister arrived in Bengaluru on Monday, accompanied by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, and attended a series of meetings with the agencies’ client companies throughout Tuesday.

The Minister says the visit is a key opportunity for Irish companies looking to do business in India and for Ireland to attract more investment from the country,

“India is booming and I’m here to make sure that boardroom decisions from New Delhi to Dublin come out in favour of Irish jobs and Irish companies. We will meet senior executives from the major Indian conglomerates, investors, and SMEs, to highlight our strong and growing trade and investment relationship. I’m also really looking forward to experiencing the vibrancy and culture of India and to strengthening our bilateral relationship as nations.”


Minister Coveney travels to Mumbai on Wednesday for a series of engagements, including the announcement of the opening by Kerry India of their third Customer Co-Creation Centre. The visit will culminate in a reception to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, with music and a showcase of Irish food and drink producers.

In New Delhi on Thursday, the Minister will hold political consultations and will deliver a keynote address at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where he will reflect on Ireland-India relations, current geopolitical challenges and Ireland’s commitment to deepening engagement with India & the Asia-Pacific region.

The final leg of the programme will see Minister Coveney travel to Bangladesh to officially open Ireland’s first Honorary Consulate in Dhaka and conduct a series of political, trade and Ireland-Bangladesh community meetings.


On Irish/Indian relations, Ambassador of Ireland to India, Kevin Kelly says,

“I’m pleased to welcome Minister Coveney to India and Bangladesh for St. Patrick’s Day 2024. This year, Ireland and India are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations. It is a sign of Ireland’s commitment to deepening engagement with India that Minister Coveney is travelling for such an extensive programme, with a strong trade, economic and political focus, supported by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Bord Bia.

“I am also glad that Minister Coveney will officially open Ireland’s first Honorary Consulate in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which is an important milestone in our relations with Bangladesh.”


On the huge potential for investment into Ireland from India, Mary Buckley, Executive Director IDA Ireland says, 

“India is Ireland’s third largest FDI investor from the Asia Pacific region and IDA Ireland is pleased to partner with 30 Indian companies that have chosen to operate in Ireland with a strong presence in Irish regional locations, and whose Irish operations employ over 5,000 people. Ireland continues to offer real opportunity for Indian companies seeking a stable, secure, pro-business environment with a talented workforce and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.  As a committed member of the EU, Ireland is also a proven base from which to grow operational presence in European markets.  I look forward to meeting with our client companies during this visit and to continuing to strengthen our relationships with existing and indeed, new client companies from across India.”


On the massive export opportunities the India market of 1.4 billion people offers to Irish companies, Jennifer Melia, Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland says, 

“Irish companies are growing internationally at an accelerated pace, driven by an ever-increasing demand internationally for solutions from innovative Irish businesses to solve global challenges. Ireland’s innovation pipeline is underpinned by our world-class research and development ecosystem, and there are significant opportunities for more Irish companies to establish and grow in the exciting Indian market, particularly in areas such as ICT, aviation, fintech and lifesciences. Our Irish universities already have a very strong foothold in India, with 8,500 Indian students studying in Ireland this academic year. This trade mission will build upon and strengthen these existing business and education ties, and identify opportunities for new successful partnerships."




The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, or (01) 631-2200


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