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Minister Coveney welcomes the re-opening of the Singaporean market to exports of beef from Ireland

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today welcomed a decision by the Singaporean authorities to lift their suspension on the importation of beef from Ireland and to allow the importation henceforth of beef from animals aged under 30 months. The Minister explained that this decision follows regular contact with Singapore over a lengthy period culminating in a successful inspection visit to Ireland by a high-level Singaporean veterinary delegation in July, the purpose of which was to examine our beef control systems. 

The Minister pointed out that Singapore is a key market in South East Asia and its system of administration is held in high esteem by other countries throughout the region and beyond. There is every reason to hope that the decision of the Singaporean authorities will have a positive effect on our efforts to gain access to other markets in the region. While exports of beef are for the time-being restricted to beef from animals aged under 30 months originating from a list of specifically- approved plants, there are indications that over time, given a successful resumption of trade, it will be possible to negotiate an increase in the age limit and in the number of eligible plants by engaging with the Singaporean authorities. 

The Minister added that "while the vast bulk of our beef is exported to the EU, non EU markets offer an important alternative outlet to our exporters, along with the real potential for expansion. I am firmly of the view that it is vital that Irish companies have access to as many markets worldwide as possible and my Department and I will continue to work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Bord Bia to this end. The decision by Singaporean authorities is yet another indication that Ireland’s beef control systems operated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine instils confidence in important export markets throughout the world".

Date Released: 20 September 2011