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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 70 to 76
 Header Item Consular Services Provision
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Overseas Development Aid Issues
 Header Item Overseas Development Aid Issues
 Header Item Trade Data
 Header Item VAT Rates Application

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 806 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 95 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 70 to 76

Consular Services Provision

 70. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will investigate the case of a person (details supplied) from County Louth who is in a prison in Lithuania. [28123/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I can inform the Deputy that the Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania and the Consular Assistance Section in Dublin has provided consular assistance to the person in question since that person’s initial detention in Lithuania. The Embassy is in regular contact with the appropriate Lithuanian authorities in response to questions or matters which have arisen during the period of imprisonment. The person and his next of kin are kept informed of the Embassy’s representations to the Lithuanian authorities on various matters, and the outcomes of these representations. I wish to inform the Deputy that the Department of Foreign Affairs has no role of legal representative or investigator in foreign jurisdictions.

Departmental Reports

 71. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will set out the value for money reports and the focused policy assessments carried out within his Department since March 2011; the actions that have been taken to implement such reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [28175/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore My Department is committed to assessing its work and performance, including the conduct of Value for Money and Policy Reviews (VFM) in keeping with the spirit of the Public Spending Code. Under the current round of Value for Money and Policy Reviews, 2012-2014, two studies have been planned. The first, a VFM Review of Bilateral Diplomatic Missions in the EU, is coming to completion and the other, a VFM Review of Irish Aid’s support to the Haiti earthquake disaster, has just commenced. Both of these studies will be made public and action will be taken in relation to recommendations. In order to ensure that such action is appropriate and timely, a system has been put in place by my Department to track and follow-up on recommendations from VFMs and other evaluations that are regularly undertaken. A whole of Government comprehensive review of expenditure was conducted in 2011. My Department made a submission to that review in July 2011. That submission, with other Departmental submissions, was published on the DPER website in December 2011.

  No other Value for Money Reviews or Focused Policy Assessments have been undertaken by my Department since March 2011.

Overseas Development Aid Issues

 72. Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Seán Crowe Zoom on Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore further to Parliamentary Question No. 128 of 28 May 2013, in which he stated that 20% of Irish Aid’s expenditure is on hunger reduction, if he will specifically detail the way this is measured and the type of expenditure that falls under Irish Aid’s definition of hunger reduction spending. [28210/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): Information on Joe Costello Zoom on Joe Costello Combating global hunger and under-nutrition is a key pillar of Ireland’s overseas development assistance programme, which is a central element of our foreign policy. This commitment was renewed last month when we launched Ireland’s new policy for international development,One World, One Future’. In 2008, Ireland's Hunger Task Force called on the Government to work towards an indicative target of directing twenty per cent of our overseas development assistance budget to hunger-related activities by 2012. We have delivered on that target, and over 20% of the Irish Aid budget is now focused on the fight to reduce hunger.

  All of the work of the aid programme on the reduction of poverty naturally has an impact on hunger reduction. However, the hunger target expenditure is made up of programmes and interventions which have a significant impact on hunger reduction. These include Irish Aid’s support for agriculture programmes which help poor smallholder farmers to boost their yields and diversify their crops, as well as our support for agricultural research for development. They also include Irish Aid’s support for nutrition programmes and interventions, school feeding programmes, food assistance programmes and emergency food distribution.

  The social protection programmes supported by Irish Aid have a significant impact on hunger reduction and are also included in our hunger target. These programmes play an important role in addressing income poverty, and improve the ability of poor people to buy more nutritious food and to have two meals a day rather than one.

  Health care, health education and improving the supply of drinking water and sanitation also have a significant impact on reducing hunger, and programmes which Irish Aid support in these areas are included in our hunger target.

  Reaching and exceeding our 20% hunger target has involved a reorientation of our development programme to ensure a stronger hunger response at the global level and in the countries in which we work. It clearly marks Ireland out in global terms for our commitment in the fight against hunger and under-nutrition. We are determined to stay on track with this important work.

Overseas Development Aid Issues

 73. Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Seán Crowe Zoom on Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if Irish Aid reviewed Dóchas recently published Models of Agricultural Investment research paper; and if Irish Aid plans to implement any of the recommendations contained in this paper. [28211/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): Information on Joe Costello Zoom on Joe Costello I warmly welcome the report, “Models of Agricultural Investment”, published last November by Dóchas, the umbrella organisation for Irish development NGOs. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine contributed to the report’s formulation. The report concludes that the local context is a crucial determinant of the suitability of any agricultural investment model in the developing world. I strongly share the view that a differentiated approach is necessary in working with development partners, taking account of local conditions. Combating global hunger and under-nutrition is a key pillar of Ireland’s overseas development assistance programme, as re-confirmed in the Government’s new policy for international development,One World, One Future’. Support for poor agricultural smallholders is a core element of our strategy, which is guided by the 2008 Hunger Task Force Report. This report highlighted in particular the need to support smallholder farmers in Africa, and in particular women farmers, to increase their productivity. Through our aid programme, Ireland supports international agricultural research for development, primarily through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Ireland advocates to ensure that CGIAR research programmes are climate-smart, gender-sensitive and nutrition-sensitive. We also support a range of smallholder support activities in our Key Partner Countries, and we prioritise the implementation of beneficial research outcomes.

  The Dóchas report contains a number of recommendations. One is that evidence-based assessment is necessary for effective evaluation of the impact of work carried out by NGOs supported by the Government. I am in full agreement. Irish Aid funding decisions are based on a strong results-based management system. As a condition of funding, all NGO partners must set out clearly defined results and demonstrate strong monitoring and evaluation procedures to track those results.

  The report also recommends support for the implementation of the UN Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land. As Presidency of the EU, Ireland worked to ensure that the guidelines were included in the new EU Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan which was adopted by EU Development Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council on 28 May 2013.   

  I look forward to continuing dialogue with Dóchas on our approach to agriculture in the fight to end extreme hunger and poverty in the world.

Trade Data

 74. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will provide a list, in tabular form, in order of the highest to lowest of all of Ireland's trading partners, with the amount or trade valued, the amount our exports are to that country and the value of the imports from that country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28251/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore In 2012, Ireland’s total bilateral trade (imports to and exports from Ireland) increased by 4.7% to €318.5 billion, despite a difficult global economic environment. Total exports (merchandise and services) increased by 5.5% in nominal terms in 2012 to their highest level ever (€182 billion) and they are now 16% higher than the pre-crisis high in 2007. The total value of merchandise exports in 2012 was €92,120 million, up 1% from 2011, while total imports were valued at €49,024 million, up 1.5% on 2011. Services exports increased 11%, from €81,448 million in 2011 to €90,218 million in 2012. Figures for 2012 services exports, broken down by country will not be available from the CSO until autumn 2013.

  As the Deputy is aware, the Embassy network is engaged, in close co-operation with the relevant State Agencies, in the drive to promote Irish exports through the local market teams established under the Government’s Trade Strategy. The local market team, chaired by the Ambassador consists of the Embassy and representatives from the relevant State Agencies in the field. These market teams submit annual market plans as well as six monthly reports of activity, which are reviewed by the Export Trade Council, which I chair.

  The following tables provides a breakdown of merchandise trade figures by total trade, exports and imports for 2012.

Irelands Trading Partners – Merchandise figures (  €000)  2012

Country Exports Imports Total bilateral trade
Great Britain* 13,857,163 15,411,489 29,268,652
United States* 18,156,979 6,479,864 24,636,843
Belgium* 13,618,547 958,955 14,577,502
Germany* 7,517,282 3,415,750 10,933,032
France* 4,403,266 1,905,522 6,308,788
Switzerland* 5,070,306 957,649 6,027,955
Netherlands* 3,324,340 2,369,949 5,694,289
China* 1,564,943 2,751,117 4,316,060
Italy* 2,672,121 780,239 3,452,360
Spain* 2,768,585 656,390 3,424,975
Japan* 2,099,983 734,049 2,834,032
Northern Ireland 1,451,370 1,029,877 2,481,247
Norway 298,417 938,162 1,236,579
Sweden* 829,848 378,790 1,208,638
Poland* 681,609 370,790 1,052,399
Canada* 781,358 245,929 1,027,287
Nigeria 304,540 676,405 980,945
Denmark* 525,257 453,173 978,430
Mexico 679,788 271,521 951,309
Other (Intra EU) 38,198 913,004 951,202
Australia* 724,139 105,556 829,695
Singapore* 512,701 297,092 809,793
Brazil* 255,830 515,713 771,543
Turkey 455,243 309,200 764,443
Algeria 48,197 715,361 763,558
Hong Kong 594,904 115,609 710,513
Russia* 602,619 102,398 705,017
South Korea* 355,912 334,185 690,097
Other (Non-EU) 44,991 620,343 665,334
Czech Republic* 336,965 297,216 634,181
Saudi Arabia* 626,197 4,144 630,341
Israel 553,646 60,435 614,081
India* 234,576 365,356 599,932
Austria* 331,359 211,896 543,255
Portugal 386,165 131,284 517,449
Finland 383,461 113,594 497,055
Romania 351,824 125,712 477,536
Malaysia* 240,852 216,157 457,009
Country Exports Imports Total bilateral trade
Thailand 137,880 298,645 436,525
South Africa* 283,325 117,881 401,206
United Arab Emirates* 373,678 23,250 396,928
Hungary 277,499 107,579 385,078
Taiwan 129,423 252,160 381,583
Stores and Provisions (Non EU) 369,063   369,063
Ireland   341,849 341,849
Argentina 80,711 236,681 317,392
Greece 255,876 23,766 279,642
Libya 31,335 169,669 201,004
Vietnam 76,279 100,603 176,882
Egypt 135,649 28,006 163,655
Indonesia 64,874 97,429 162,303
Bangladesh 6,714 131,358 138,072
Slovakia 62,868 62,626 125,494
Chile 62,197 56,765 118,962
Luxembourg 68,819 47,520 116,339
Philippines 82,515 30,042 112,557
Latvia 72,836 37,621 110,457
New Zealand 69,007 40,378 109,385
Lithuania 55,704 52,353 108,057
Guinea 2,676 100,111 102,787
Kuwait 97,928 377 98,305
Morocco 68,282 20,376 88,658
Bulgaria 66,795 12,004 78,799
Pakistan 26,080 51,597 77,677
Ukraine 50,185 20,089 70,274
Ghana 54,657 13,535 68,192
Lebanon 59,460 5,219 64,679
Qatar 58,541 4,086 62,627
Colombia 33,840 27,173 61,013
Serbia 54,039 2,333 56,372
Iraq 56,038 88 56,126
Venezuela 52,467 1,343 53,810
Jordan 51,317 1,944 53,261
Oman 46,883 6,200 53,083
Senegal 51,174 582 51,756
Iran 50,752 767 51,519
Croatia 40,262 8,264 48,526
Country Exports Imports Total bilateral trade
Sri Lanka 4,114 42,861 46,975
Peru 28,638 14,699 43,337
Costa Rica 14,260 28,210 42,470
Kenya 22,298 18,900 41,198
Slovenia 32,164 8,934 41,098
Cameroon 31,008 7,595 38,603
Kazakhstan 37,715 146 37,861
Cambodia 3,234 33,775 37,009
Bahrain 36,144 99 36,243
Cyprus 32,417 3,540 35,957
Estonia 23,685 11,585 35,270
Confidential (Non EU)   32,945 32,945
Malta 23,816 9,006 32,822
Iceland 23,434 8,755 32,189
Congo 31,709 262 31,971
Congo (Dem Rep) 30,907 6 30,913
Tunisia 15,095 12,422 27,517
Andorra 355 26,843 27,198
Dominican Republic 13,213 8,043 21,256
Syria 18,102 325 18,427
Mauritius 4,736 12,818 17,554
Angola 17,065 1 17,066
Uruguay 12,393 4,587 16,980
Zambia 16,143 56 16,199
Ecuador 14,158 1,980 16,138
Mali 15,944 111 16,055
Trinidad and Tabago 15,502 374 15,876
Bosnia and Herzegovina 14,978 807 15,785
Panama 14,681 688 15,369
Sudan 13,546 1,398 14,944
Ethiopia 14,649 253 14,902
Tanzania United Rep 14,265 360 14,625
Belize 551 12,603 13,154
Togo 12,181 35 12,216
Uganda 11,644 182 11,826
Yemen 11,818 0 11,818
Macao 8,085 2,574 10,659
Guam 10,464 1 10,465
Ivory Coast 8,268 1,869 10,137
Albania 5,001 5,039 10,040
Country Exports Imports Total bilateral trade
Macedonia 8,426 995 9,421
Benin 9,120 0 9,120
Nicaragua 3,080 5,317 8,397
Bahamas 2,758 5,396 8,154
Afghanistan 8,078 30 8,108
Georgia 6,781 1,109 7,890
Guatemala 6,664 1,151 7,815
Gabon 4,862 2,888 7,750
US Minor Islands 7,245 418 7,663
Honduras 3,266 4,344 7,610
Belarus 4,631 1,569 6,200
Azerbaijan 6,153 3 6,156
El Salvador 5,970 95 6,065
Jamaica 4,760 1,221 5,981
Namibia 2,611 1,816 4,427
Burkina Faso 4,073 47 4,120
Tokelau Islands 3,701 276 3,977
New Caledonia 3,674 10 3,684
Swaziland 2,699 958 3,657
Mozambique 3,614 5 3,619
Zimbabwe 2,986 591 3,577
Malawi 3,405 60 3,465
Moldova 2,975 460 3,435
Gibraltar 3,304 4 3,308
Sierra Leone 2,161 973 3,134
Maldives 435 2,588 3,023
Fiji 2,945 74 3,019
Botswana 2,941 0 2,941
Mongolia 2,554 6 2,560
Laos 768 1,708 2,476
Liberia 2,110 251 2,361
Faroe Islands 366 1,674 2,040
Bolivia 1,467 513 1,980
North Korea   1,837 1,837
Seychelles 1,559 205 1,764
Mauritania 1,629 125 1,754
Papua New Guinea 1,497 221 1,718
Brunei 1,652 4 1,656
Uzbekistan 1,449 21 1,470
Barbados 1,448 6 1,454
 

Additional tables.



Country Exports Imports Total bilateral trade
Armenia 1,181 26 1,207
Guyana 1,192 0 1,192
Cuba 865 310 1,175
Turkmenistan 1,032 106 1,138
Chad 1,075 49 1,124
French Polynesia 1,044 45 1,089
Liechtenstein 408 644 1,052
Mayotte 996   996
Netherlands Antilles 937 16 953
Haiti 675 273 948
Central African Republic 423 516 939
Gambia 869 6 875
Surinam 796 28 824
Bermuda 813 5 818
Madagascar 627 131 758
Burma 681 40 721
Paraguay 648 62 710
Nepal 320 377 697
US Virign Islands 608 37 645
Somalia 626 18 644
Samoa 615 0 615
Grenada 131 452 583
Rwanda 471 73 544
Equatorial Guinea 512 0 512
Ceuta 105 401 506
St Vincent & Grenadines 447 0 447
Turks & Caicos Islands 2 433 435
Occupied Palestine 330 88 418
Kosovo 377 31 408
Niger 211 190 401
Cayman Islands 309 1 310
Djibouti 74 199 273
Kyrgyz Republic 210 57 267
St Lucia 136 126 262
Tonga 226 4 230
Saint Helena 130 69 199
San Marino 109 23 132
Dominica 95 20 115
Burundi 90 16 106
St Kitt & Nevis 78 26 104


Country Exports Imports Total bilateral trade
Micronesia   95 95
British Virgin Islands 8 80 88
Greenland 3 73 76
Lesotho 66 3 69
Montenegro 53 10 63
Aruba 56   56
Anguilla   51 51
Comoros 18 31 49
Falkland Islands 1 48 49
Nauru 4 42 46
Solomon Islands 39   39
Eritrea 6 32 38
French Southern Terr 8 24 32
Cape Verde 22 4 26
Norfolk Island 6 13 19
British Indian Ocean Territory 2 15 17
Antigua & Barbuda 7 2 9
Christmas Island 7 0 7
St Pierre & Miquelon   6 6
Vanuatu 2 3 5
Timor-Leste 5 0 5
American Samoa 0 5 5
Melilla   4 4
Cook Islands   4 4
Niue 4 0 4
Wallis & Futuna   2 2
Sao Tome & Principe 2   2
Bouvet Island   2 2
Pitcairn   1 1
Tajikistan 0 1 1
Holy See 1 0 1
Montserrat   1 1
Tuvalu   1 1
Bhutan   0 0
South Georgia   0 0
Guinea Bissau      
Cocos Islands   0 0
Kiribati 0   0
Country Exports Imports Total bilateral trade
Stores & Provisions (Intra EU)      
Antartica      
Heard Island   0 0
Northern Mariana Islands   0 0
Palau   0 0
Marshall Islands   0 0
Grand Total 92,120,100 49,231,251 141,351,351


* Priority markets identified under the Government’s Trade Strategy.

  Question No. 75 withdrawn.

VAT Rates Application

 76. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will confirm the VAT rate applicable on the monitoring of personal security alarms for the elderly. [28144/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The standard VAT rate of 23% applies to the personal security alarms for the elderly. This rate also applies to fees charged for monitoring of such personal alarms. It is not possible under EU VAT law to apply a reduced or zero rate of VAT, or an exemption from VAT, to the supply and monitoring of such products. Under the Value Added Tax (Refund of Tax)(No. 15) Order, 1981, it may be possible to obtain a VAT refund in respect of the purchase of a panic alarm system by or on behalf of a disabled person, as it may be considered a medical device for the purpose of this refund order. However, monitoring and maintenance fees are not recoverable under the order.


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