Sunday 25 September 2016

Apple boss Cook says gay marriage law will boost FDI

New same-sex marriage law in Ireland 'will attract more business', Apple CEO Tim Cook tells Adrian Weckler

Published 15/11/2015 | 02:30

Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, who last week paid a visit to Independent News and Media's offices on Talbot Street, Dublin, with his copy of the Sunday Independent
Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, who last week paid a visit to Independent News and Media's offices on Talbot Street, Dublin, with his copy of the Sunday Independent

Marriage equality in Ireland is set to attract more investment into the country, according to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

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"It will lead to many more businesses coming in," he told the Sunday Independent in an extensive interview.

"This is another example where Ireland will be the ripple in the pond. I am thrilled about it. I think it will result in many other countries following. I give a lot of credit to the Irish people."

Cook, whose company announced 1,000 new jobs in Cork last week, said that passing the same-sex marriage law this year is "clearly" benefiting Ireland's reputation.

"From a business point of view, we need to be able to attract and retain talent from all walks of life, all sexual orientations, all races and all ethnic backgrounds.

"Otherwise we're not going to be successful. So I think Ireland did itself a great service, not only because it's just and right, but also because it will attract more business."

Cook, who came out last year, also reserved significant praise for same-sex campaigners in Ireland.

"The [marriage equality] campaign here was so professional," he said. "It wasn't an antagonistic kind of campaign. So I think everyone is to be complimented."

Cook is the latest in a long line of tech high-flyers to associate same-sex rights with a good business climate.

Earlier this year, Microsoft president Brad Smith urged countries to adopt same-sex marriage legislation because it "makes good sense for business".

"Marriage equality as a legal right makes good sense for business and for people," said Smith.

"That's why we've advocated for marriage equality in places where we have facilities and employees. And it is why we'll continue to support marriage equality when this issue arises in communities around the world."

Many big tech companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, confer the same spousal benefits for both heterosexual and same-sex partners whether a country has legislated for marriage or not.

Cook also said that there was "tension" in Europe for US companies trying to do business.

"It's important that Europe becomes clearer of what should be done centrally by the EU and what should be done in the country," he said. "I sense more tension in that regard today than before. So I would hope that that would be sorted out for the best of Europe. Europe has great growth potential if that is sorted out."

Cook said he expected "huge" Watch sales this year and that iPad sales would rebound. He also said that Apple was not planning to merge iPads with Macs. "We feel strongly that customers are not looking for a converged Mac and iPad."

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