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Irish minister calls for stronger trade ties with India

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Pitching for stronger trade ties with India, an Irish Minister has called for greater investment in the spheres of education and healthcare even as he said it was "strange" that relations between the two countries were not as strong as they can be.

Warming to the Narendra Modi government, the Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly, said that his country was "very keen" to expand its involvement in the above areas.

"Investment in Ireland by India is quite sizeable with a substantial number of Irish people employed by Indian companies, which is true the other way round as well. I believe we can grow this.

It could be far stronger than what it is and it's strange in a way that it hasn't been stronger considering our ties from the days of our national struggles for independence," he told PTI.

The Irish Ambassador to India, Feilim McLaughlin, who was also present during the interaction, advocated prompt conclusion of India's Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, of which Ireland is a part.

"We hope the EU-India FTA is concluded, which would allow for greater trade and investment," he said.

The minister said Ireland would like to engage in the education sector.

"The number of students coming to Ireland from India has doubled in the last two years to 2,000. We would like to raise it to 5,000 in the next three years," he said.

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First Published: Sun, March 22 2015. 09:02 IST