28 Government ministers will take partake in business events and political meetings in 35 cities across 23 countries over this year's St Patrick's Day festival period.

Mexico and Vietnam are included amongst the destinations in this year's programme for the first time.

Russia is also back on the list for the first time since 2010.

As part of the programme Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will travel to France while Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton will attend a series of business events in Italy.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, meanwhile, will travel to the United States.

The announcement was made as the Government launched a programme of ministerial-led events targeting trade and investment over 2014.

Among the measures announced was a major new Enterprise Ireland Market Access Grant Scheme, which aims to help companies succeed more quickly and effectively in new markets.

Under the scheme, companies can receive grant support of up to €150,000 to develop new markets. 

This year, over 1,000 Enterprise Ireland client companies will take part in a series of 118 international events including 18 ministerial-led trade missions to major export markets including North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Government programme for St Patrick's Day 2014:

Taoiseach Enda Kenny - United States
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore - France
Minister Michael Noonan - Canada
Minister Brendan Howlin - China
Minister Richard Bruton - Italy
Minister Joan Burton - New York, USA
Minister Jimmy Deenihan - San Francisco, USA
Minister Pat Rabbitte - London & Birmingham, England
Minister Phil Hogan - United Arab Emirates
Minister Alan Shatter - Mexico
Minister Simon Coveney - New Zealand & eastern Australia
Minister Frances Fitzgerald - Japan & South Korea
Minister James Reilly - Massachusetts & Ohio, USA
Minister Leo Varadkar - Georgia, USA
Attorney General Máire Whelan - Washington DC, USA
Minister of State Paul Kehoe - Lebanon
Minister of State Jan O'Sullivan - Scotland
Minister of State Dinny McGinley - Pennsylvania, USA
Minister of State John Perry - Spain
Minister of State Michael Ring - The Netherlands
Minister of State Kathleen Lynch - Vietnam
Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd - Germany
Minister of State Sean Sherlock - Illinois & Kansas, USA
Minister of State Ciaran Cannon - Romania
Minister of State Alan Kelly - western Australia
Minister of State Alex White - Russia
Minister of State Tom Hayes - Norway
Minister of State Paschal Donohoe - Belgium & Luxembourg