Issued Thursday, 23 November, 2017.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, T.D., addressed over 800 members of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland at the Chamber’s annual Thanksgiving Lunch today in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road. Former Irish Ambassador to the US, Anne Anderson, was also honoured at the event with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
James O’Connor, President of the American Chamber, welcomed guests to the event, saying “I am delighted to welcome the Taoiseach to Thanksgiving here today, a day which is the highlight of our Chamber’s calendar. Earlier this month, the Taoiseach met with the leadership of the world’s largest companies on the West Coast of the US – all of whom have substantial operations and teams in Ireland – and we are very proud that they are all members of our Chamber. The reception the Taoiseach received at every location was clear testimony to the esteem in which he is held by these companies and the central importance of their teams in Ireland to their global strategy.”
“I want to thank the Taoiseach for the commitment and resources that he and his Government are prioritising to maintain and enhance Ireland’s reputation as the global location of choice for US investment, and I want to pay tribute to his ambitious vision for Ireland,” said James O’Connor. “A vision that the American Chamber shares - that Ireland has the potential to be an Island of Talent at the centre of the world. Consider the fact that. among the 150,000 + employees in US multinationals here in Ireland, are people from over eighty nations around the world, building great careers and lives here in our country.”
“The 150,000 talented people working for US companies in Ireland are producing world-class products and services that are saving and enhancing lives all around the world and transforming how we live and work. At the start of 2017 I set out six key areas of focus to ensure we maintain our competitiveness, including:
- An education system that equips boys and girls equally to avail of the opportunities that flow from digital transformation in a multilingual global community
- Enhanced physical and digital infrastructure – including the physical infrastructure deficit in the north-west and the capacity issues in our cities
- A personal tax regime that rewards productivity
- Sufficient choice of quality rented residential accommodation to meet the needs of a changing population
- Sufficient choice of schools and pathways to education and training attainment
- And finally – but critically – the need for extensive broadband access across Ireland”
“We fully support the Taoiseach’s vision that Ireland will double its global footprint by 2025. This will include significant increased investment for our key investment agencies – Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. We greatly welcome this - our members see every day the great work done by EI and our leadership on both sides of the Atlantic. We also constantly pay tribute to IDA Ireland as a trusted and invaluable business partner. It will also mean greater investment in the Embassies and Consulates of our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which our members will greatly welcome.”
“I am particularly delighted today to honour Anne Anderson for her outstanding contribution and commitment to the Ireland US relationship during her time in Washington as Irish Ambassador. One of Ireland’s most experienced diplomats, Anne Anderson worked tirelessly to promote the two-way business relationship between Ireland and the US, a relationship which see US company’s supporting 10% of the employment in this country.
Thanks to her expert bi-partisan diplomacy on both sides of the aisle in DC, her engagement with Irish-America at all levels, her deep support to the work of our member companies we can say today that the two-way US-Ireland relationship stands at an all-time high. I am delighted to present her today with the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Thanksgiving Day Highlights