The Republic of Ireland is moving to open dozens of diplomatic representations across the world to expand its foreign relations and strengthen its international presence as the UK exit debate from the EU continues within months.
According to sources, Ireland is seeking to expand its diplomatic presence in Latin America, India, Africa, the Middle East and New Zealand.
Ireland plans to open an embassy in Morocco in 2020. To date, its diplomatic representation in Morocco is entrusted to its embassy in Lisbon, as well as honorary consulates in both Casablanca and Agadir who have the task of accepting passport applications and visa applications and directing them to their office in Dubai to deal with them.
Ireland’s decision to open this number of embassies is the largest expansion since its independence from Britain in the 1920s, and comes in the context of Britain’s exit from the European Union, an attempt to reach new global markets for Irish companies.
The UK is the largest partner to be imported from Ireland and the second largest export market after the United States, which is facing serious economic repercussions if Britain leaves the EU without reaching an agreement by next March.
Ireland currently has 80 diplomatic missions around the world, and in the coming years is seeking to exceed 100 diplomatic representatives. It recently opened a new embassy in New Zealand and established new consulates and representative offices in the United States, Canada and Germany.
Seven new diplomatic representations are expected to open this year in India, Colombia, Chile and Jordan, in addition to Los Angeles in America and Frankfurt, Germany. In 2020, diplomatic missions to Ireland will be established in Ukraine, the Philippines and Morocco, bringing the total number of new embassies to 13 in 2025.
“This has not happened since independence, and we have to provide a lot of staff and spend more money. This is the purpose, in the context of Brexit, to look for new markets to allow sectors that depend on the UK,” Foreign Minister Simon Covigny was quoted as saying. To be able to expand into new markets.
Ireland is moving beyond the traditional power centers that ruled outside its borders, especially outside of London, Washington and Brussels, to reach China, where it opened consulates in Shanghai and Hong Kong alongside its embassy in Beijing. This is normal because China is now the third largest Irish food and beverage market.