#IIF13 – Dublin’s Lord Mayor – ‘our city is becoming a global social and tech hub’ (video)

11 Oct 2013

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn address the Innovation Ireland Forum in Dublin. Photo by Robbie Reynolds

Dublin’s reputation as a welcoming city, as well as one of the best places in the world to do business, is cementing its reputation globally as a digital technology and social media hub, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn told this morning’s Innovation Ireland Forum in Dublin.

Quinn pointed out that US foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ireland now stood at US$181bn, more than the combined FDI in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“This shows that Ireland and Dublin are attractive to international businesses, not just for sentimental reasons but for reasons that work.”

He cited the arrival of companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Twitter and others who show that “Dublin is a hub in technology and social media, as well as being home to long-established companies in the tech industry.”

Quinn pointed to the fact that as well as the 12.5pc business tax environment, a young, well-educated workforce and demographics boosted by an enduring baby boom, “Dublin is the only English-speaking capital in the Eurozone.”

“All of the world’s best companies in technology, pharmaceuticals, social media are in Dublin already,” Quinn added. “They aren’t just here with a small HQ, they are here in significant numbers and there are constantly new jobs announcements. Anyone looking at Dublin knows it is top standard in terms of the staff with skills.”

Quinn also pointed to the city’s increasing diversity. “Dublin is a welcoming city and from our research, people are surprised how diverse the city is.

“We are constantly working to make it more and more inclusive. Google employs over 2,000 people – and only 20pc of their Dublin workforce is from Ireland – that is actually a strength.”

Channelling the sentiment at this morning’s forum, whereby more and more disruptive people and ideas need to be fostered and supported, Quinn pointed to the fact Dublin won the right to hold the One Young World Summit in 2014.

“The key is disruptive thinking and people being brave and not afraid to fail.”

Watch the Lord Mayor talk about Dublin as a smart city at the Innovation Ireland Forum here:

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