Bogota, 19 March 2022 (TDI): The Irish Tanaiste (Vice Prime Minister) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Leo Varadkar visited Columbia on Saint Patrick’s Day program.

Varadkar took part in several activities and festivities. These were publicized through the Twitter handle of the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland in Columbia and Panama.

The agenda of his visit to Columbia encompassed fields including education, economy, culture, and peace-building. Leo Varadkar met Marta Lucía Ramírez, the Vice President of Columbia.

The Vice Prime Minister also met Columbian President, Ivan Duque to discuss bilateral opportunities. He talked to the students and future leaders at the University of Los Andes about the Irish economy.

Additionally, he conversed with students studying about Ireland on the first “Irish Studies” module. The Tanaiste also signed a memorandum of understanding with Columbia in the field of education.

Moreover, the Tanaiste also worked on strengthening bilateral trade and economic ties between Ireland and Columbia. Although Ireland and Columbia had established trade ties for several years, Varadkar’s visit reignited and reinforced bilateral business relations.

He met with representatives of the Irish technology and aviation industry which have a notable market in Columbia. Vice Minister of Columbia and the Irish Minister officially launched Irish Columbian Business Forum on the occasion of Irish National Day.

Furthermore, the Irish representative met with ex-FARC combatants in the interest of Peace-building. Both Ireland and Columbia have a history of violent conflict which they have now left behind, owing to the successful peace-building efforts done by their respective leaders.

A fundamental aim of the Irish mission in Columbia is to support the Columbian peace process. Vice President Marta Lucia thanked the Deputy Prime Minister for his support in building peace.

Ireland Re-opening to the World

In February this year, the Irish cabinet settled on a plan to send government ministers throughout the world on the occasion of Saint Patrick’s day. The aim was to develop bilateral ties across various fields, especially cultural and economic relations.

A statement by the Irish government said that “the central message of this year’s St Patrick’s Day is that Ireland is reopening, and the international program will focus on the theme of Rebuilding Connections & Supporting Communities across the globe.”

It further added that “St Patrick’s Day is the primary flagship for realizing the ambition of the Government’s ‘Global Ireland’ program to promote Ireland as a great place to live, visit, work, study, and invest, with an integrated, all of Government, Team Ireland approach.”