€2.5bn investment in Irish telecoms infrastructure supported €54bn in FDI

1 Feb 2013

(From left) Former EU Parliament president Pat Cox; ambassador Tom Hanney, deputy permanent representative of Ireland to the EU; Dana Strong, CEO, UPC Ireland; and Gerard O'Neill, chairman, Amárach Research

In the past five years the Irish telecoms industry invested €2.5bn in infrastructure, which has facilitated €54bn worth of foreign direct investment, a 20-fold return for the country, a meeting of EU telecoms industry leaders were told at a meeting in Brussels last night.

UPC Ireland CEO Dana Strong said it is clear that investment in digital technologies provide a solid foundation for economic recovery.

“The industry in Ireland has invested €2.5bn over the last five years into Ireland’s telecommunications infrastructure,” she said.

“This has facilitated some €54bn of foreign direct investment projects, as well as expansion projects for indigenous Irish firms.”

Citing EU Commission figures, Strong said European SMEs account for some 67pc of total employment and 58pc of goods and services produced. With more than 87m people employed, SMEs continue to be the backbone of the EU economy.

“Over 90pc of all businesses in Ireland are SMEs. Faster adoption of digital technologies needs to be promoted among these businesses to ensure they can maximise the benefits of digital competitiveness,” Strong told European telecoms industry delegates.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years