Taoiseach Enda Kenny emphasises fact that Ireland speaks English as main language a key selling point
Ireland still harbours ambitions to lure in British business as it seeks to benefit from the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny made his most telling play to date on the issue, where he suggested that Ireland was an ideal place for businesses to move to. Citing its position in the EU, the shared language and the historical links between the two countries, he explained how it was a good location for foreign investment. He also expressed his preference for free trade while commenting that other countries were leaning towards putting up barriers. Mr Kenny argued that Ireland needs to become competitive and that it could take advantage of Brexit.
“The opening of our economy over the last half century has transformed [it] beyond all recognition,” he said. “For this reason, the government is unapologetic in promoting a free-trade agenda. While some other countries put up barriers, we want to remove them.
“Fifty years ago, Ireland was a small, inward, backwardlooking agri-based economy. Our joining of the European Union transformed the country over those years and opened our eyes and our base to the world. “As a consequence of that, the opportunity for a country with young demographics has given young people the opportunity to really find themselves and be confident that they can meet the challenges of the future.”
The Taoiseach acknowledged that moving to a new base can seem daunting but he assured potential investors that Ireland would be wellsuited to their needs.
“It cannot be easy for companies to take the big leap to establish themselves in another country, or another continent in the case of many businesses here today,” he explained. “But you are in good company here, with other businesses who have established a dynamic presence, and with a government that understands business and the possibilities of new technological development.
“In Ireland you are assured of positive support from the government and our enthusiastic workforce.” Mr Kenny’s words come following the news that Dublin has broken into the top 20 ‘most reputable’ cities in the world.
The latest table, which is compiled based on the views of the general public in developed economies, is a boost to the Irish capital as it seeks to establish itself as a new European hub. It ranked ahead of London and Paris as well as other financial rivals such as Berlin and Brussels. It still sits behind Frankfurt but Niall Quinn, head of corporate PR at The Reputations Agency in Dublin, said the rankings were “encouraging”.
“With a renewed focus on alternatives to London post-Brexit, and given the link between a city’s reputation and people’s willingness to visit, work, live and invest in that city, an enhanced reputation can only add to the attractiveness of Dublin as a possible location for business,” he added.
Sydney topped the table, followed by Vienna and Zürich. Any anticipated influx of business to the Irish capital is well-represented by the speculative building work in the North Wall Quay.
The hope is that grade A office space with large floor plates will attract companies in the UK who are considering their options following Brexit. The Dublin Landings development project, previously known as Project Wave, was launched by Ballymore and Oxley Holdings. The site will include just over 60,000 square metres of office and retail space, in addition to 270 luxury apartments. There will also be a hotel, roof gardens, an underground car park and gyms.
Willie Dowling, executive director of office agency at CBRE, explained how London-based companies have already made inquiries into the development.
“We will be targeting the large financial institutions to take space in Dublin Landings because we have big office buildings and it’s in a city centre location,” he said.
“We’ll also have the strength of Ballymore as a brand. A lot of companies will associate it with highend London residential and commercial property, and they know that if they go with Ballymore they can assume a certain level of quality. “There’s a question mark about whether there’s enough residential accommodation for the workers in Dublin. We have that on site.”