The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Michael Russell have published the Ireland-Scotland Joint Bilateral Review Report.
Following consultations between the two governments, the report sets out a series of joint actions to be taken in the areas of business and the economy; academic and research links; rural communities; as well as government and political relations.
Among the business-focused recommendations, the report stated that later this year the Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh and the Scottish Government Office in Dublin will support the formation of a Scotland-Ireland Trade Taskforce.
This will engage with public and private sectors to promote the development of Irish-Scottish trade relations.
The format and remit of the taskforce will be determined following consultations with trade agencies, industry representatives and chambers of commerce.
Also in 2021, working with a wide range of business and local government partners, the Scottish Government will focus on shared challenges for small businesses in both domestic and export markets, and on local government and business efforts to build sustainable town centres.
Both governments also committed to jointly host a trade conference, led by Ireland’s Consulate General in Edinburgh and the Scottish Government Office in Dublin, to hear views from a range of stakeholders, including business representative organisations, chambers of commerce and other enterprise stakeholders.
Both governments will support relevant business-to-business networks in their work to build personal and business connections betweenScotland and Ireland.
The Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh and the Scottish Government Office in Dublin also promised to work with economic agencies, chambers of commerce, local authorities and the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce to deliver events and activities that will determine how the wider business community wants the bilateral relationship to develop post-Covid.
The report also stated that Ireland and Scotland will cooperate on the research and development of offshore renewable energy technologies, to enable these technologies to become commercially deployable; particularly in the areas of floating wind and wave energy.
This feeds into a final commitment from the Irish Government to work with the Scottish Government on its approach to the wellbeing economy and transition in climate change policy.
External Affairs Secretary Michael Russell said: “We have created the signposts which point the way for our ambitions to work together to benefit business, the creative and cultural sector, education and a range of other areas of importance to both our countries.
“In order to ensure that the ambition in our recommendations is realised, we are committed to meeting annually, when we will not only look at what we have done, but also set new, ambitious, shared objectives.”