Address by Mr. Noel Treacy T.D., Minister for European Affairs, to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, in association with A&L Goodbody, for the International Networking Reception
Mr. Noel Treacy T.D.,
Minister for European Affairs
to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, in association with A&L Goodbody
International Networking Reception
Tuesday, 28 June, 7pm
It is a great pleasure to be here with you all this evening for this International Networking Reception. We have well over 20 countries represented here - from Australia to Argentina, Morocco to Malaysia, Switzerland to South Africa. You are all very welcome to Ireland.
The Greater Dublin Area is, without doubt, Ireland's engine of growth. Responsible for producing half of the national output, with almost 40% of the total population, Dublin is our economic, as well as political and official, capital.
It is not just the Irish who think Dublin is a good place to work and live! You only need to look around to see the considerable number of foreign companies who have chosen this region in which to base their operations.
The factors which continue to make Ireland an attractive location for international companies are well known to you:
• We have a young, well educated, English-speaking workforce, who continually demonstrate a 'can do' flexible attitude – over 40% of our population are under 25 years of age
• A stable, enterprise-friendly business environment, supported by forward thinking policies of our Government
• Our low corporation tax rate and commitment to a transparent and competitive tax regime
• Committed EU participation, access to the EU market and a member of the Eurozone
• The substantial research and development policies and funding provided by our Government
• A good quality of life, with excellent educational facilities
The Dublin area has a concentration of universities and other third level institutions, and they are playing an increasingly important role in our economic development. This reflects our Government's vision of Ireland becoming a knowledge economy, with leadership in the areas of life sciences, medical technologies, and software and information technologies.
One cannot discuss “Business” and “Dublin” without mentioning the International Financial Services Centre.
It is appropriate that our event this evening is here in the IFSC, which has been the key to the development of Dublin as a Financial Services Centre and also represents an outstanding example of urban regeneration.
While initially it is business factors which will attract many foreign companies to the Dublin region, the quality of life that we can offer them and their families plays a very significant determining role. It is worth mentioning a recent survey, which ranked Ireland as the best place in the world in which to live. This was as a result of low unemployment, political freedom, and stable family life. It highlighted the fact that we have managed to successfully combine the advantages of living in a modern First-World economy, while continuing to maintain the values of a more traditional society, with an emphasis on family and community Spirit.
Another factor playing an increasingly important role in sustaining our growth and prosperity has been immigration. Between 2003 and 2004, for example, one third of the growth in our labour force was from immigrants. Within the next twenty years, over half a million additional Immigrants will take up residence in Ireland. We recognise the invaluable role that immigrants play in our economy. More importantly, we also recognise their profound contribution to the social and cultural fabric of Irish life. We need to work together to ensure that Dublin and the whole of Ireland continue to be an excellent place to work and to live for all.
Our Department of Foreign Affairs works with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce to help their members do business internationally. Our network of embassies abroad is an invaluable asset, and we encourage our business people to make full use of them. We recognise the important role played by embassies, which are resident here in Dublin, in developing business links and promoting international trade and services. In this field we have a common interest in working together and supporting the efforts of one another. I can assure you of our fullest support and my personal interest in all of your endeavours.
I would like to conclude by thanking both the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and A&L Goodbody for organising this event and providing me with this opportunity to speak to you all here, this evening, in the heart of Dublin's fair city, the capital of Ireland.