EU participation central to FDI investment in Ireland
Maintaining Ireland’s position at the centre of the European Union is vital to encourage and sustain investment by US companies here according to Peter O’Neill, President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland and Country General Manager of IBM Ireland.
Mr. O’Neill making his comments at the American Chamber’s President’s Lunch today stated “Ireland’s strategic interest lies in being full participating member of the European Union, having long been the location of choice for US multinationals wishing to penetrate the European market in the most competitive and efficient manner possible.
“Ireland is an attractive location for US investment for a host of reasons and when this is underpinned by our close relationship with Europe it benefits both Ireland and Europe as a whole,” O’Neill said, “the nation now accounts for one-sixth of all U.S. Foreign Direct Investment into Europe, creating further opportunities across the continent.”
“This investment has proven critical to the very survival of our country in the current crisis,” said Mr. O’Neill. “Our export led recovery is being driven by multinational companies which are also generating valuable employment. Over 1,000 new jobs were announced by US companies in Ireland since the beginning of the year. These jobs might not have been created here if Ireland was outside the European Union.”
“It is essential to ensure that the confidence of business in Europe, and of Ireland’s role within it does not waiver. The current crisis has exposed weaknesses in regulatory systems around the world, and Europe has not been immune to this. Confidence needs to be restored in the European Union quickly and to that end, the new Fiscal Compact is a move in the right direction,” according to O’Neill.
“Ireland continues to serve as a ‘strategic beachhead for US firms investing in Europe. For Ireland to remain as attractive a location, international confidence in the European Union needs to be maintained and that can only occur by instigating structural changes at EU level.
“Ireland is making economic progress and continues to attract foreign direct investment. As long as Europe implements the necessary reforms and Ireland continues to single-mindedly pursue our strategic interests at the heart of the European project, I see no reason for that to change.”