The German Ambassador, Deike Potzel met with Sean Farrell Vice President and Paddy Malone PRO Dundalk Chamber.
The Ambassador asked our opinions on a wide variety of topics including BREXIT, former links with Germany (Henkel), tourism, German Irish co-operation and the potential of this region.
The Ambassador showed a deep understanding of the practical problems of Brexit. She asked about cross border movement of workers and students (DKIT). She was particularly interested in agriculture and the fact that the dairy and other sectors are now aligned on an All Island basis.
She asked about the impact that the troubles had had and also on what the position ws now. We emphasised that the region North and South had re-established contacts and that North South trade had been increasing over the last 20 years. Leisure traffic had also increased significantly. We stressed that no one in Dundalk or Newry saw Brexit as a good idea. We pointed out that Newry Chamber had carried out a poll post BREXIT which showed 100% against Brexit.
We made reference to the 2040 National Plan and our success in having it significantly amended. The revised plan has now identified the M1 corridor from Drogheda through Dundalk to Newry as the primary growth area for the East coast. We in Dundalk are determined to work with Newry,despite Brexit for the benefit of the region.
She had been in the area before and expressed surprise at the tourism potential of Carlingford Lough and also the tourism potential that the industrial heritage of Dundalk offers. She informed us of a number of events in Germany that might be of interest to members.
She offered to help our members who might wish to start or expand their trade with Germany.