Ireland’s stellar performance in terms of capturing foreign direct investment – more than the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) combined – will be seriously undermined if the Lisbon Treaty is rejected, the chairman of the country’s only regional development agency said.
This warning came from John Brassil, chairman, Shannon Development, Ireland’s only regional development agency which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
“A ‘Yes’ vote for the Lisbon Treaty referendum is vital for the Irish economy,” Brassil explained. “By supporting this treaty we will be supporting Ireland’s position as a global economic player and failure to do so will be detrimental to securing new overseas investment.”
Brassil said the single market has been important both for the growth and diversification of Irish trade and for enhancing the attractiveness of Ireland for foreign direct investment.
The scale and depth of the global economic crisis crystallises the importance of Ireland’s participation in a strong European community.
“As a country that has benefited hugely in the past from participation in the EU, it is important that we vote ‘yes’ to ensure that we continue to reap these benefits.
“As a regional development agency, Shannon Development knows just how effective developing strong working partnerships with a range of key players can be, we do it every day and we see its results. Further embracing European partnership will benefit us all.”
Ratifying the treaty will, Brassil said, strengthen our links with EU partners and enable Ireland to compete more effectively on the world stage and be ready to exploit new global opportunities.
“We are all in businesses of one type or another and therefore the responsibility for ensuring the future prosperity of the business community in Ireland rests in all our hands. By voting ‘yes’ Ireland will continue to punch above its weight in Europe,” Brassil said.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD, centre at back, launched his Yes for Lisbon campaign in Kerry over the weekend at the Kerry Technology Park, Tralee, with, left to right in front, Emma Talty (9) from Ennis, Co Clare, Noel Brassil (8) from Ballyheigue, Darragh Hurly (9) from Tralee, and Kate Sheehy (11) from Tralee. Also present are Vincent Cunnane, CEO Shannon Development, and John Brassil, chairman of Shannon Development.