The Global Irish Economic Forum - One Year On
The Global Irish Economic Forum
- One Year On
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheál Martin, T.D. today published The Global Irish Economic Forum – One Year On, a report outlining progress made on a number of initiatives in the year since the Global Irish Economic Forum was held at Farmleigh House.
Marking the report’s publication, Minister Martin recalled the considerable value of the contributions made by those who attended the Forum and stated that:
“this progress report demonstrates the commitment made to Farmleigh participants that their ideas would not simply be a report on a shelf but would be followed up by Government at the highest level”
The report details developments on issues which were raised at Farmleigh in areas such as engagement with the Diaspora; culture; innovation; tourism; greentech; international financial services; agriculture and food; and a new strategy for Asia and emerging markets.
Significant progress has been made both by the government and the private sector on a number of initiatives which emerged from, or were discussed at the Forum, including:
· the establishment of the Global Irish Network; a network of over 300 highly influential figures from 37 countries. This was a key proposal of the Forum and Network meetings have since been hosted in a number of key markets including in London, Paris, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. A meeting of the North American Network members will take place in New York in November. The Network provides Ireland with an invaluable resource of international expertise from which we can draw as we work towards economic recovery. This direct access to key private-sector decision makers across the globe has the potential to deliver real, tangible economic benefits for the Irish at home and abroad;
· the establishment of a secretariat to develop and expand the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ILTG) in Silicon Valley and the opening of the Irish Innovation Centre in California. The ITLG is an independent organization comprised of a number of high-level technology leaders in Silicon Valley who are Irish or Irish-American. The Group includes senior executives from some of the Valley’s leading corporations, each of whom are committed to helping Ireland address the challenges of embracing new technology opportunities. The appointment of Craig Barrett, former President and CEO of Intel and a prominent Farmleigh attendee, as the Chair of the ITLG is a very positive development;
· the establishment of the Farmleigh Fellowship in Singapore by a group of Irish based business people in Singapore. This graduate scheme will provide up to 25 Irish participants the opportunity to work and study in Asia and Ireland over the course of a year. Selection of the participants is underway with the programme scheduled to commence in December, 2010;
· Gateway Ireland another private sector initiative, aimed at creating a new high quality Irish portal website, is being developed by John McColgan in close cooperation with a number of prominent private sector partners;
· The Ireland Funds, in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, hosted a Youth Forum in Farmleigh in June 2010. The forum examined how younger members of the Diaspora can contribute effectively to Ireland, both culturally and economically; and
· in the Tourism and Culture sectors, the Government agreed to the appointment of Gabriel Byrne as Ireland’s first Cultural Ambassador while Culture Ireland is developing a special programme for 2011 which will showcase Irish arts and culture throughout the US. One of the elements that came to the fore most strongly in Farmleigh was the potential for leveraging our cultural identity in support of our economic regeneration.
The report also outlines developments in relation to a number of other issues which were raised at Farmleigh, including:
the announcement of the €500million Innovation Fund-Ireland
to develop a vibrant venture capital community in Ireland;
a new €90 million National Energy Retrofit Programme;
the launch of Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy which
provides a framework to ensure the integrated and coordinated
promotion of overseas trade, tourism and investment in established
markets as well as in key high growth markets in Asia, the Gulf
Region, Latin America and elsewhere; and
- the appointment of former Taoiseach John Bruton as chairman of IFSC Ireland, to promote Ireland's international financial services industry.
Referring to the legacy of the Forum, the Minister noted that:
“in addition to the range of specific initiatives outlined in the Report, Farmleigh had a transformative impact on the Ireland-Diaspora relationship. The Irish worldwide embraced the spirit of Farmleigh by actively contributing to the debate on Ireland’s future and, in particular, by establishing a range of new and innovative local initiatives.
Also, to a much greater extent than before, many state and private sector organisations recognise that the enhancement of the relationship with the Diaspora is proving a valuable asset in Ireland’s economic recovery - in particular in providing a competitive edge in certain key markets.”
18 October, 2010
Note for Editors:
The full report is available online at www.globalirishforum.ie
The Global Irish Economic Forum was held at Farmleigh House from 18-20 September 2009. The Forum was convened with the objectives of exploring how the Irish at home and abroad, and those with a strong interest in Ireland, could work together and contribute to our overall efforts at economic recovery; and to examine ways in which Ireland and its global community could develop a more strategic relationship with each other. The Forum was attended by leading members of the Irish business and cultural communities, members of Government, and representatives of Government Departments and State Agencies.
Further information on the initiatives detailed in the report can be obtained through the Department of Foreign Affairs.