Monday 7th October 2019
IDA Head Highlights Galway’s Attractiveness to Foreign Investors
“We can win investment where there is a competitive offering – and Galway has a competitive market.” That was the message delivered by the CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, at the Galway Chamber Autumn Business lunch last Friday.
Speaking to a crowd of over 200 Chamber members and business representatives from across the city and county, Mr Shanahan outlined some of the factors that make Galway such an attractive place for investment.
“It’s a cultural centre, it’s a centre for the arts, it’s got fantastic universities, it’s got a fabulous work/life balance. Connemara and the Irish language are on your doorstep, you’ve got a cosmopolitan population. You have any amount of things to offer,” he said, noting that the Authority has invested over €14 million in capital expenditure in Galway in the past year.
He explained that while 65% of all foreign investment into Ireland currently comes from the U.S., part of the IDA’s forward strategy is to diversify its source markets, in anticipation of an economic slowdown in the U.S. and in light of the many geopolitical challenges globally. It is also to prepare Ireland for opportunities in emerging areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning robotics, which could come from many different countries.
“Our job is to try to pre-empt what is coming and to make sure that we are preparing people for the next wave of jobs that are going to arrive. This is not the future, this is the here and now,” he said.
Galway, he said, is already very strong in the med-tech, technology and industrial engineering sectors and it has a strong digital legacy. While agreeing that infrastructure issues, in particular traffic, remain a challenge for the city, he encouraged those in the room to keep getting on with the “small things” while waiting for some bigger things to fall into place.
Speaking at the lunch, President of Galway Chamber, Dave Hickey highlighted the Chamber’s determination to get progress made on the issue of traffic.
“Galway’s chronic traffic congestion and lack of affordable, accessible housing are limiting Galway’s attractiveness as a destination for inward investment. We need urgent action on both from Government and Galway Chamber intends to make this a crucial election issue.”
Chamber CEO, Kenny Deery, thanked Mr Shanahan and the IDA for their visible support for and presence in Galway. “The IDA has played a key role in the attraction of over 20,000 high value jobs to Galway, we in Galway Chamber enjoy a strong working relationship with the IDA West team. Martin’s attendance with us as keynote speaker at our Chamber Autumn Business lunch is testament to their commitment with and confidence in Galway and the wider region.”
He also thanked Grant Thornton for their generous sponsorship of the lunch, noting that important networking and learning events like this would not be possible without such patronage.
The next in the Galway Chamber Business Lunch series takes place on the 13th December, for further information contact the Chamber offices.
Link to high-res downloadable images from the lunch here.