DUBLIN, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The Irish government said on Wednesday the Brexit negotiations ahead would no doubt be "very challenging," but that Ireland was well-prepared for the difficulties ahead.
"We have already taken important steps to prepare our economy," it said in a statement.
"The government's enterprise agencies will continue to work with exporters and potential investors, helping them to deal with issues as they arise -- making companies lean, diversifying market exposure, and up-skilling teams," it added.
The statement said Ireland would negotiate from a position of strength as an integral part of the EU 27 team and would work with all its partners to achieve the best possible outcome.
The statement said it had been clear from the start that Brexit would have significant implications for Ireland.
"The government has been working very hard for more than two years, even before the UK referendum, to engage with all sectors across the island of Ireland, to fully analyse our main areas of concern, and to develop our negotiating priorities," it said.
"These are to minimise the impact on our trade and the economy; to protect the Northern Ireland peace process, including through maintaining an open border; to continue the Common Travel Area with the UK," it added.
The government said Ireland would publish a consolidated paper, ahead of the European Council meeting on April 29, providing more detail about its approach to future negotiations.
Britain on Wednesday officially started the historic Brexit process when Prime Minister Theresa May sent a letter to leaders of the bloc.
By triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, Britain and the EU entered a two-year process to negotiate the terms of exit. Unless both sides agree to extend the deadline for talks, Britain will leave the EU in March 2019.
Article 50 refers to the formal procedure by which an EU member state notifies the European Council that it intends to leave the bloc.