Minister Ng speaks with Ibec chief executive officer about Canada-Ireland trade opportunities

News release

May 13, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada is committed to delivering an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery by promoting progressive trade relationships that benefit all, fostering growth and creating good middle class jobs in the process. 

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, joined Danny McCoy, chief executive officer for Ireland’s largest business representation group, Ibec, for a conversation on how business owners and entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic can start up, scale up, and access new markets as part of the global economic recovery from COVID-19.

Minister Ng noted Canada and Ireland’s shared values, including a mutual commitment to rules-based trade, providing supports for small and medium-sized enterprises, and creating greater inclusivity and sustainability in global trade, including through collaboration in the green economy. Minister Ng also underscored the benefits of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), including its removal of barriers to trade and investment and provision of a stable framework for businesses to build resilience and strengthen supply chains.

During the discussion, Minister Ng highlighted the importance of digital trade and e-commerce as drivers of the global economic recovery. She also promoted Canada’s contribution within the World Trade Organization (WTO) to advancing a set of global trade rules to underpin the digital economy.


“More Canadian companies, and more Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, are trading with Ireland than ever before. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have far-reaching impacts on international trade, CETA offers both Canadian and Irish businesses access to a large, stable, and predictable market where they can start up, scale up, and access international opportunities, creating good jobs and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic.”

- Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick facts

  • Canada and Ireland have a close relationship and share values and common priorities, including support for gender equality, human rights, and climate action. 

  • Canadian companies are benefitting from CETA, with 2-way merchandise trade between Canada and Ireland increasing by 44.4% since the agreement came into force in 2017. 

  • Canadian merchandise imports from Ireland in 2020 were 65.3% higher than they were in 2016 before CETA came into effect. 

  • CETA provides Canadian businesses with favourable access to the Irish and EU markets through a number of measures, including tariff reductions, increased labour mobility, and access to procurement contracts at all levels of government. 

  • As a comprehensive agreement, CETA upholds our high standards in commercial, social, and environmental protections, as well as in workers’ rights and food and consumer safety. 

  • In 2019, Canada and Ireland celebrated 80 years of diplomatic relations.

Associated links


Youmy Han
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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