International Relations Team

This page provides information on the work of the international relations team as well as a link to the Executive's International Relations Strategy.

International relations work

Through our international relations work, we aim to enhance our international message and develop mutually beneficial relationships with targeted countries, regions and organisations to secure investment, trade, tourism, students and to exchange knowledge and expertise.


Under devolution legislation, international relations and relations with the EU remain the responsibility for the UK Government. However, it is recognised that the devolved administrations will have an interest in international policy making in relation to devolved powers.

Under the Belfast Agreement the duties of the First Minister and deputy First Minister include co-ordinating the work of the Executive Committee and the response of the Northern Ireland administration to external relationships.

Inward visits

At home Ministers continue to meet with visiting foreign diplomats, politicians and key decision makers as part of the Department’s strategic inward visit programme.

On an annual basis, a key objective of the International Relations team is facilitating a minimum of 25 inward diplomatic and government visit programmes.

Outward visits

Ministers' international visits are targeted at initiating government to government relations and/or maintaining and enhancing relations.

The objective is to raise the profile of Northern Ireland and promote the priorities of the Executive's Programme for Government. You can access the Executive's International Relations Strategy via the link below:

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