Shannon could develop an IFSC style strategy – Breen

February 2nd, 2015 - Pat Breen

“Shannon could develop a strategy similar to the proposed strategy for the IFSC in Dublin”, says Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen.

“The IFSC strategy proposes to attract 10,000 additional new jobs into Ireland over the next 5 years and I firmly believe a similar strategy could do wonders for job creation in the Shannon region.

“The Government is committed to spreading the economic recovery to the regions. Recent Enterprise Ireland figures showed that 70% of the extra Enterprise Ireland supported jobs created in 2014 were outside Dublin. We need this to continue and a dedicated strategy for Shannon would be extremely beneficial for the Mid West region as a whole. I plan to talk to both Ministers Michael Noonan and Simon Harris in the Department of Finance, to see if we could adapt the model of the IFSC strategy for Shannon.

“I particularly like the proposal for an increased role for Irish embassies abroad in highlighting the opportunities for foreign direct investment here in Ireland. This is something we need to do for Shannon. As Chair of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee I have good contacts with our embassy network, who work closely with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, and would be well placed to discuss this with them should such a strategy be created for Shannon.

“Other good proposals include the creation of a “banner brand” for the IFSC and the plans to hold an annual IFSC industry summit. Industry is being attracted to Shannon because the airport is going from strength to strength. We recently heard that AMAX are creating 100 new jobs over the next five years at its new European manufacturing facility in the Western Business Park for example. With Shannon Group PLC’s reputation for excellence, we could make Shannon a European hub for industry and business summits. With direct daily transatlantic flights, easy access for US business people makes international conferences and summits a realistic target.

“The IFSC plan recommends strengthening links between industry and colleges. Shannon could form stronger links with UL, both to highlight the quality of our graduates for businesses considering locating here, and to encourage students to stay local and work in the Clare/Limerick region when they finish college.

“There is so much potential for Shannon to continue to grow and I think a dedicated strategy, much like the one proposed for the IFSC, could really benefit this region.”