Businesspeople must promote Ireland

22 Apr 2010

The Irish business community is being encouraged to strengthen its efforts in highlighting the benefits of investing in Ireland.

A breakfast briefing held yesterday in City Hall in Dublin by accountancy firm KPMG heard that a compelling case still remains for investing in Ireland.

The ‘Promoting Ireland’ briefing was attended by a wide range of business leaders and was addressed by the newly appointed Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD.

Efforts to promote Ireland welcome

Speaking at the event, O’Keeffe said that business efforts to highlight Ireland as an attractive location for investment are “very welcome” in the context of the Government’s broader drive to draw more investors to Ireland and build international confidence in the Irish economy.

“Ireland is again on the path to economic renewal and we can again have confidence in the future. Our young, educated and flexible workforce, English-speaking population, attractive low-tax business environment and strong entrepreneurship have helped to bring more than 1,000 international companies to Ireland where they now employ over 140,000 people.  

“Over the coming weeks, I will be focusing on creating jobs by driving the international trade strategy in partnership with IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, while at the same time stimulating our small-and-medium-sized enterprises in the domestic economy by getting credit flowing again and making the regulatory regime work for the employer,” the Minister said.

Competition for investment grows

According to KPMG’s Managing Partner Terence O’Rourke, it is well accepted internationally that Ireland is still a good place to invest. However, he noted that there is “no room for complacency” and that it is essential businesspeople stay fully informed of the detail of what Ireland has to offer in the investment stakes, while using their overseas network of contacts to help leverage these advantages.

Also speaking at the briefing was the CEO of IDA Ireland Barry O’Leary, who said the competition for mobile international investment has become increasingly intense.

“The changing nature of foreign direct investment and the challenging global economic environment requires the mobilisation and optimisation of all Ireland’s resources. Team Ireland, composed of a wide variety of stakeholders and service providers, must respond rapidly and cohesively, briefings such as this are vital elements in shaping Ireland’s response,” he said.

Ireland must keep promoting itself

Aidan Brady, Country Manager of Citi in Ireland, said Citi’s experience of investing in Ireland showed the country could successfully secure inward investment for itself.

“Citi pioneered international banking in Ireland when we first came here 45 years ago and most recently were the first financial services company to establish a dedicated R&D centre here in Dublin – demonstrating Ireland’s ability to compete for and win high-value inward investment.”

However, Brady noted that it was essential to keep spreading the good news about the advantages of locating in Ireland saying that “in many respects the global economic situation had made things even more competitive and Ireland should continue to be very specific about the reasons to invest here”.

At the briefing, KPMG also launched its guide for those considering Ireland as an inward investment location. Available online, Investing in Ireland highlights a wide range of benefits for inward investors and covers such key areas as taxation, incentives and living and working in Ireland.

Photo: (From left): Aidan Brady, Country Manager, Citi; Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD; and Anna Scally, Partner, KPMG

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