Minister Pat Breen among seven Irish People to receive UAE Spirit of the Union Award.

January 4th, 2017 - Pat Breen

picture-2-uaeMinister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen was among just seven Irish people to be presented with the Spirit of the Union Award by the UAE Ambassador to Ireland, Saeed Mohammed Al Shamsi.

The award which marked the 45th National Day celebrations of the United Arab Emirates was presented to Minister Breen for his promotion of trade between Ireland and the UAE.

In announcing that the Clare Fine Gael TD and minister of state was to receive the award the embassy issued a document stating: “Since UAE opened the Embassy in Dublin, H.E. Pat Breen, Minster of State for Employment and Small Business has been a leading supporter for the Embassy and excellent promoter of the trade between UAE and Ireland in particular and the region in general.”

Minister Breen said, “Trade between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates has proven beneficial to both parties, and particularly Ireland. The total trade in goods for 2015 was €475 million, a 26 per cent increase on 2014 and the majority of that trade was export led. Exports to the UAE totalled €441 million, and imports were valued at €34 million. Trade in services figures for 2015 are not yet available, however we know that the total bilateral trade, goods and services, in 2014 was valued at €960 million.”
“Of this, trade in goods was valued at €376 million – €357 million exports and €19 million imports, and trade in services amounted to €584 million – €481m exports and €103 million imports,” he said.
“As we begin 2017 and the uncertainty of Brexit, it is more important than ever that we continue to nurture this trade relationship between Ireland and the UAE, and I look forward to working closely with the UAE Embassy to ensure this working relationship continues to develop,” added Minister Breen.
“I will also be working closely with the Enterprise Ireland (EI) office which was opened in Dubai in 2002, and also the EI representative based in the Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Exports by EI client companies to the UAE increased by 37% in 2014,” he added.
“The UAE is a key market for Irish services exports in construction, consultancy and training. Overall, there are approximately 70 Irish businesses with a presence on the ground in the UAE, and 100 more exporting to it. In addition, there are a number of local businesses owned by Irish people,” said Minister Breen.
“Relationships between Ireland and UAE are also developing across other sectors. Tourism Ireland appointed a general agent in Dubai in 2007 and opened a regional office in Jebel Ali, a port with a tax-free zone southwest of Dubai, in 2010. Bord Bia opened an office in Dubai in early 2014. An attaché from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine was posted to Embassy Abu Dhabi in the summer of 2016. In March 2015, the first GAA World Games were held in Abu Dhabi.”


For further information contact Minister Pat Breen on 087 242 2136.

Photo Caption: UAE Ambassador Dr. Saeed Mohammed Al Shamsi presents the Spirit of the Union Award to Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen and President of the GAA Aogán Ó Fearghaíl on UAE’s National Day.