Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Outlines ‘Ambitious’ Government Plans to Increase Infrastructure Capacity


An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, joined AmCham members as our Guest of Honour for our 2023 Thanksgiving Lunch in the Clayton Burlington hotel, in Dublin yesterday.


In a speech to 850 AmCham members he said that AmCham is “right” to highlight “infrastructural deficits and capacity constraints in our economy” and said that the Government is working to increase all aspects of Ireland’s infrastructure capacity. 


He said: “We are now investing four times more every year in public infrastructure projects compared to when I was first appointed to Cabinet in 2011 and we are beginning to see results in crucial areas like housing, transport, and energy.” 


He added: “We need it to happen faster and more effectively, meeting the needs of a fast-growing country and population, and the twin challenges of climate and digital.” 


An Taoiseach also said the Government is overhauling the planning system, as well as putting “ambitious” plans in place for onshore and offshore renewable energy. 


AmCham members have consistently highlighted housing as the number one challenge for continued growth and investment in Ireland and in an AmCham survey this week.


Additionally, 98 percent of members said that if Ireland’s key airports and ports hit 100 percent capacity, it will be concerning for continued growth and investment  


The Taoiseach also paid tribute to the “extraordinary” relationship between the US and Ireland. He said: “For centuries there has been a reciprocal relationship of affection and understanding between our peoples.”  


Seamus Fives, AmCham President, said “US Multinationals now employ over 375,000 people directly and indirectly and spend over €31 billion in the Irish economy every year.  Housing is a critical economic enabler for Ireland, and in order to sustain the investment ambitions of FDI, AmCham has voiced the importance of enabling the delivery of housing under the ‘Housing for All’ Plan to provide for current and future housing needs.  On sustainability, advancing Ireland’s sustainability agenda and advocating for the use of innovative technologies is critical to achieving the Government’s wider goal of transitioning to a carbon neutral economy by 2050.  However, it is crucial that we also continue to focus on delivering energy security. Strategic investments in renewable energy, particularly focused on the potential of offshore wind, will ensure that Ireland is self-sufficient regarding energy, and will provide significant economic opportunity for Ireland to become an exporter of green energy.  


Ireland’s success in attracting FDI in recent years has been significantly aided by our growing reputation as a global centre for innovation and development. Continued investment in Ireland’s research capacity and ecosystems is vital to ensure we attract the best researchers, develop world-class capability in high-value niche areas, and encourage innovation. This will  bolster Ireland’s reputation as a recognized hub for research investment across all sectors of our economy. Budget 2024 advanced Ireland’s ambition in innovation and research with Minister McGrath’s announcement of the increase of the R&D tax credit from 25 percent to 30 percent. This was one of AmCham’s top pre-Budget recommendations.” 


AmCham was delighted to welcome US Ambassador to Ireland Claire D. Cronin to the lunch to address members and to hear from Owen O'Sullivan, Managing Partner, William Fry, on behalf of our sponsor, William Fry. 


You can watch a video of the Taoiseach's address to AmCham members here

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