An Taoiseach attends Chamber Cork Business Lunch

  • Release Date: 23/09/2016
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D. attends American Chamber Cork Business Lunch as the Chamber calls for Ireland to remain a location of choice for US inward investment to Europe

Issued September 23, 2016.  Following his meeting with the Board of The American Chamber of Commerce in the Maryborough Hotel, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D., was welcomed to the Chamber’s Annual Cork Business Lunch, attended by over 320 American Chamber and Cork business community members.  US Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Kevin O’Malley was also welcomed to the event by Bob Savage, President of the American Chamber.
Speaking at the event, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D., said “I’m delighted to address the members of the American Chamber of Commerce here in Cork today.  US investment in the Cork region has been both strong and consistent over the years, and Cork has become a centre of excellence for pharmaceutical and technology companies as a result.  I’m very aware of the importance of the contribution of the US business community both to this region and the rest of the country.  I was delighted to hear about continued commitment to Cork and Ireland from the members of the American Chamber board, chaired by Bob Savage, this morning, and I also want to assure you of the Government’s continued deep commitment to ensuring Ireland remains a great place from which to do business with the rest of Europe and the wider world.  We are all aware of the challenges that lie ahead, including Brexit, but I am determined to ensure that the best interests of our country are fully represented at the European table. We will continue to focus on the opportunities available to us as an English speaking member of the European Union, with a talented and flexible workforce and a strong pro-business attitude.”

Speaking at the lunch, Bob Savage said “In recent weeks the necessity for certainty in policy and administration to secure current and future inward investment has come into sharp focus – we deeply appreciate the Taoiseach’s unambiguous declaration that his Government will steadfastly defend our hard-earned reputation as a pro-business country that is defined by fairness and certainty of treatment.

Next month the Government will announce the 2017 budget. In our pre-Budget submission to Government, on behalf of our members, we have urged Government to ensure that Ireland remains a unique transatlantic trade and investment gateway and a location of choice for US inward investment to Europe.  The American Chamber believes that competitiveness and certainty of tax policy are necessary to Ireland’s FDI offering.  Ireland must continue to evolve its corporate tax regime in response to the post-BEPS landscape to remain competitive.  We will also engage closely with the Department of Finance with their consultations on the renegotiation of the US-Ireland Tax Treaty, and we will work closely with Government and IDA to ensure our members are fully informed on the Brexit process as it unfolds.

We have never seen the competition for US business investment from other regions of the world as intense as it is today. It is essential that we constantly benchmark our competitiveness against the countries that currently compete with us for US investment and those that are getting ready to join the battle. We know that we need to create and attract the best talent – that is why we need to have an education system that is fit for purpose and why we need to have sufficient choices for people for places to live, to work, to send their children to school and to be able to connect digitally and physically in a manner befitting a leading, innovative economy. We simply cannot afford to be complacent about any aspect of this – if we fall down under any of these headings we will lose investment – it is as simple and as brutal as that.”

Bob Savage also said, “I speak for every Chamber member in this room when I pay tribute to the Taoiseach for his unwavering commitment to supporting the 140,000 talented people that work for our member companies and that of his Government to ensuring that Ireland will remain the global location of choice for US business investment.”

U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, said “I am very happy to be here in Cork again among representatives of some of the biggest and most innovative companies that have put down deep roots in Ireland and who represent the core of the U.S. and Ireland business relationship.  I have been lucky enough to visit IMERC, the Tyndall Institute, and companies such as Apple and Boston Scientific to see first-hand where sparks of innovation collide with talent and technology and create solutions and inventions which will shape the future. It is our responsibility to build on the strength of our connections that span the Atlantic to ensure that our business, cultural and economic ties are galvanized for future generations.”

The American Chamber of Commerce also announced two new appointments to the Board of the Chamber, Eli  Lilly country lead Deirdre Bourke, and Gareth Lambe, Head of Facebook Ireland.