Clare is the best County in Ireland to do business in – BREEN

March 23rd, 2012 - Pat Breen

“Clare is the best County in Ireland to do business in” that was the message delivered by the Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade & Clare T.D. Pat Breen T.D. when he delivered a keynote address to 120 key US Business Leaders gathered at an economic networking event which was organised by Clare County Council and hosted by Clare Native Noel Kilkenny, the Irish Consulate General in New York on Wednesday night, the 14th March 2012 last.

“I was happy to lend my support to this Clare County Council business networking forum and it was a very important event in terms of delivering the message loud and clear that now is the time to invest in and benefit from Ireland’s recovery and that given County Clare’s strong relationship with the United States that County Clare is the best County in Ireland to do business in.”

Deputy Breen told the assembled Business Leaders that the Irish economy is growing again and that “we are on track to bring our deficit below 3% of Gross Domestic Product by 2015 and our economy returned to growth last year with the balance of payments back in surplus. This growth has been predominantly export-led with export levels at their highest ever. This is due to improvements in competitiveness and to Ireland’s enduring attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment, underpinned by our 12% corporation tax rate and our place in Europe.”

Highlighting the Governments new “Succeed in Ireland” initiative, Deputy Breen said that “Ireland’s entrepreneurial culture is strong with the support structure among the best available anywhere. Our Government is now the largest provider of venture capital in Europe in terms of the number of investments made and we are the perfect location for overseas entrepreneurs’ to create innovative start-ups. And new changes to our visa regime make it easier for entrepreneurs to invest or establish businesses in Clare and in Ireland.”

“As a proud Clareman and living quite close to Shannon International Airport, as I do, I value the strong transatlantic relationship which we have fostered with the United States over the years. The 1st US Company to set up in the Shannon Free Zone was SPS, a subsidiary of Precision Castparts Corporation. Celebrating 50 years in existence last year, this Company spawned the creation of 38 Irish Companies of which Glen Dimplex is the most well-known and the majority of these companies are still operating today. This Company was to first to introduce employee training and R&D, it has re-invented itself to adapt to the changing environment over the years and is a huge example of the positive impact that US Foreign Direct Investments have in the Region and today, there are 73 US Companies based in the Mid-West Region, employing 9,000 people, worth €1 billion in investment.”

“The extension of the US Pre Clearance Facility is a major plus for Shannon Airport and in addition to providing full immigration, customs and agriculture clearance for all scheduled and transit traffic, Shannon Airport is the only airport in the world which is providing full US Preclearance for Business Jets. We now have a real opportunity to build on the success of this facility by developing a centre of excellence for cargo development at the Airport. A huge selling point in terms of promoting and encouraging tenants to set up their Cargo operations there would be the extension of US Pre Clearance facility to include Cargo and I am encouraged by the level of support from the US Embassy in Ireland and in particular from Ambassador Dan Rooney for this project and from the various US Senators and Congressmen whom I have lobbied in recent months.”

“As our economy recovers, the value on offer for visitors has increased. This year you can “Jump into Ireland”, enjoying wonderful landscapes, warm, friendly people and iconic holidays. Next year, 2013 is the year of the Irish – a year- long celebration of being Irish. ‘The Gathering 2013’ is our biggest ever tourism initiative which will provide an opportunity for those of you who have ancestral links or have an affinity for Ireland to connect with the people of Ireland whether it is in business, the arts, sports communities and public life. And I extend and encourage all of you to come home to Ireland and in particular to County next year to enjoy the celebrations when you are guaranteed to receive a Cead Mile Failte, while at the same time, you will be playing your part bringing practical benefits to the Irish at home and abroad. I would also encourage Airlines and Airline operators to respond to this initiative by committing to providing additional inbound US traffic to Shannon Airport next year.”