Kenny tells US executives 'Ireland open for business'
IRELAND is open for business and now is the time to invest in its economic recovery, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told an elite group of executives last night.
Mr Kenny was at a reception hosted by the Irish Business Organisation (IBO) at the start of a two-day visit to New York aimed at promoting US investment in Ireland.
Today will see the investment forum promised by President Bill Clinton at the conference for global investors held in Farmleigh, Dublin, last year. Mr Clinton has helped assemble business and economic leaders, especially ones who have not yet invested in Ireland.
"Today's special event in New York will allow President Clinton and I to meet with a number of senior US executives who do not yet have substantive business interests in Ireland.
"This is a unique opportunity to promote Ireland as an investment destination, and is yet another manifestation of how to achieve the mission of the global Irish making a difference together," Mr Kenny said.
Attracting new investors was also the emphasis at last night's meeting, although the IBO is mainly an organisation for Irish-American business leaders.
Originally the brainchild of journalist Niall O'Dowd, it organises regular events to promote Ireland as an investment location.
Next week, Peter Vale, tax partner at accountants Grant Thornton in Dublin, will join the Irish chief executive of internet service provider Yahoo at an IBO event to promote Ireland.
"The audience will be mainly international financial executives," Mr Vale said, "and I will concentrate on the tax system."
Mr Vale said he expected potential investors at these functions to raise the status of Ireland's corporation tax. He believes it is not an issue for the US tax authorities provided companies are open about their activities.
"Everything does have to be above board. That does mean getting agreement with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) that if profits are being declared in Ireland, that things like product risk are also located in Ireland," Mr Vale said.
Today's 'Invest in Ireland Forum' will also be attended by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.
It is expected that some 100 people from the Global Irish Network and existing investors in Ireland will participate in the forum.
Mr Clinton will attend the beginning of the event and Mr Kenny is expected to stress the progress Ireland is making in dealing with its financial challenges.