Published on Thursday 24th November 2011

Tánaiste Presents Report of the Global Irish Economic Forum

 The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., today made public the Report of the Second Global Irish Economic Forum, which was held in Dublin Castle on 7 and 8 October. A copy of the report is available at www.globalirishforum.ie.

The Government has endorsed 12 initiatives identified in the Report which will be prioritised for action between now and March 2012. Detailed assessments and action plans are also being prepared for the remaining initiatives contained in the Report .

The Taoiseach, speaking at a joint press conference today with the Tánaiste and the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D., said:

“The ingenuity, creativity and success of the Irish diaspora is legendary as is their desire to contribute to their homeland in times of crisis; to help turn times of crisis into opportunities for Ireland. The Government is determined that the success of the Global Irish Economic Forum yields real results, particularly in the area of inward investment and job creation. This report is the mechanism to deliver those results and will ensure that the energy, ideas and goodwill of those who participated in the forum is translated into a positive advantage to Ireland’s economic recovery.”

Welcoming the report Minister Bruton said:

“I was pleased to see the synergies between the views of the Forum participants and the Government’s priorities. In particular, job creation and assisting our exporters were central themes over the two days. A number of the Forum’s priority outcomes can clearly contribute to Ireland’s growth and future prosperity.”

Commenting on the future steps the Government will take the Tánaiste said:

This Report provides a full account of the Forum and the discussions which took place across fifteen different sectors of the economy involving members of the Government, senior Irish business figures and some 270 members of the Global Irish Network. It demonstrates the very substantive, serious and focussed work that was done. The Government has agreed to a robust implementation plan to deliver progress on key areas by March of next year.”

The 12 specific areas for early action are:

  • Visas – specific measures to improve access to Ireland for those seeking to study and do business here;
  • A World Actors Forum, ‘a Davos for the arts’, to be held in Ireland starting in 2014 which would help to build upon the work of “The Gathering”.
  • Support by Global Irish Network members in the form of mentoring, coaching and sponsorship, to Irish companies, including from the technology sector. Enterprise Ireland have been requested to develop a programme for approval by Government;
  • development of a scheme to place graduates in firms of strategic importance to Irish growth and also to offer, and market abroad, placements in Irish companies;
  • Support indigenous small businesses with access to capital, in particular micro-financing;
  • Síol: develop a Koret style model to encourage investment into Ireland to provide loans to small businesses from the Diaspora as a springboard for start ups.
  • maximise the potential of St Patrick’s Day abroad including by approving the details of Ministerial visits in advance of Christmas to allow maximum advance preparation of programmes of activity in each location;
  • establish a Strategic Communications Unit based in the Department of the Taoiseach and create a communications programme led by the Taoiseach.
  • establish a formal Advocacy system, appoint Advocates in key parts of the world and seek input from State Agencies in respect of targeted sectors;
  • support and participate in investment event in the US with President Bill Clinton in February 2012;
  • A series of further communications with members of the Network to alert them to the decisions taken/progress being made;
  • Formalise Global Irish Network involvement in Trade Missions.

The Tánaiste noted that in addition to these 12, many of the other ideas proposed in the report might also be advanced by the private sector.

Our primary goal is to ensure that the Forum makes a tangible contribution to Ireland’s economic recovery. We will therefore work to ensure that in 12 months time, the post Forum process has contributed: to the re-envisaging of Ireland; to the restoration of our international reputation; to the re-engagement of Ireland with its friends and allies abroad; to the re-energising of the country; and to the domestic reform process“.

The Tánaiste expressed his appreciation to the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business for their facilitation of the working groups at the Forum and for their Report on those discussions and outcomes. He also thanked all those who had participated in the event.

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