Ireland must resolve ‘infrastructure bottlenecks’ to remain competitive – American Chamber

  • Release Date: 27/09/2019
  • American Chamber hosts SouthernConference in Cork, highlighting how investment in infrastructure is critical for attracting FDI to the region
  • Conference explores Brexit challenges and opportunities, with the Government urged to present a confident message to the world that the country is open for business
The Government must urgently push forward with investment in infrastructure including housing, roads and broadband if the country is to maintain its status as a ‘go to’ destination for FDI after Brexit, according to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, which hosted a Southern Conference in UCC, Cork today.
The conference focused on innovation, collaboration and opportunities for FDI in the Munster region. Cork has thrived as a centre of excellence for Biopharma, Medtech, and more recently, Cyber Security.
At the event, American Chamber asserted that in order to consolidate the Region’s position as a leader in this space and see it through to the next phase of growth, the Government must ensure that infrastructure is not only brought up to standard but is future proofed.  It highlighted that that the upgrading of road infrastructure and the provision of rural broadband are of huge importance for the area.
At the conference, the American Chamber also highlighted the importance of Ireland’s competitiveness, particularly in light of the looming Brexit challenges, stating that the main concern for multi-nationals is now around how to attract and retain talented individuals from at home and abroad to work and live here.
While presenting many challenges, the conference also heard about how Brexit presents opportunities for FDI, as Ireland will become the only native English-speaking country left in the EU. It also has a good talent pool and a long and proven track record as a base for US companies to trade into EMEA and beyond.
Speaking at the event, Mark Gantly, American Chamber President for 2019 and Senior R&D Director for Hewlett Packard Enterprise said:
“Cork and the Southern Region have featured strongly in innovation among the US multinationals in Ireland, as the dominance in pharma and MedTech would attest. The ability to continue building on the FDI commitment in this region, and indeed across Ireland, will depend on maintaining competitiveness and quality of life attractiveness. Ireland must present a confident message to the world that the country is open for business. This is particularly true in the context of Brexit and the anticipated global economic slowdown.”
The American Chamber’s Southern Conference is sponsored by law firm Matheson. Speaking at the conference Pat English, Partner at Matheson commented; “The southern region is home to a diverse range of international companies and entrepreneurial indigenous success stories. This success in attracting FDI has been driven by several factors such as a skilled workforce, close links to leading academic institutions, good connectivity and a positive business environment. We opened our Cork office twelve months ago and as the first large Irish law firm to do so, we are seeing first-hand the opportunity offered by the southern region. The region has been earmarked for future growth under the Governments 2040 plan and as we look at external challenges such as Brexit, it is extremely important for local business stakeholders to build on the success factors that have driven growth in the sector to date.”