The West of Ireland has a real opportunity to grow its existing and mutually beneficial ties with Canada, Shannon Group said as Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers visited Shannon Airport on Monday.
Ambassador Vickers met with Shannon Group representatives, including Chairperson Rose Hynes and CEO Matthew Thomas, as well as Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen. Afterwards the Shannon Group Chairman, Rose Hynes, said that Ireland’s transatlantic trade and tourism ties through Canada have real growth potential.
Vickers who became the Ambassador to Ireland in January 2015 received a tour of Shannon Airport before moving on to visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.
Speaking after the meeting at the airport, Rose Hynes said: “Canada has been one of the great economic stories of the world over the past decade and is now among the top ten economies in the world in terms of GDP. Ireland is already trading very strongly with Canada and last year there was €2.75 billion of annual trade between our two nations.
“There are also over 4.4 million Canadians of Irish descent, making the Irish among the largest ethnic groups Canada. The Irish presence there has also grown through emigration over the past decade or so. We have a lot in common and much to build on.”
Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas, whose previous post before joining Shannon Group was Chief Commercial Officer with the Vancouver Airport based Vantage Airport Group added “There are solid and long-lasting foundations between Ireland and Canada. We now see a real opportunity for this part of the country to become a gateway into the EU for Canadian business and we impressed that on the Ambassador.
“We also see strong opportunities for tourism links as the tourism offering on either side appeals to both our outbound markets. We were delighted to welcome the Canadian ambassador here today and look forward to building on our relationship in the years ahead” Mr Thomas concluded.