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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Forum 'evolving', insists Gilmore

Published 03/10/2013 | 17:11

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Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore says the Global Irish Economic Forum is "evolving".

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore will not commit to hosting a fourth Global Irish Economic Forum despite it exceeding all his expectations .

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With key players in business, arts and politics set to meet at Dublin Castle tomorrow and Saturday, Mr Gilmore said the idea was morphing into a new way of working.

He admitted the forum - and its network - have exceeded all his expectations, but maintained it was becoming less "about big events" and more about a kind of an interaction.

"I think we are going to see this evolving in a way that's more appropriate where we are at now," he said.

"The idea of will we have another forum, or will it be in this format, I think that's something we have to look at, post this one.

"I see it more as the network evolving and the collectiveness and partnership with companies and with people in the domestic economy I think being much more part of it in the future."

More than 250 influential Irish and Irish-connected individuals will gather to focus on ways Ireland can improve in high-potential sectors including financial services, food and agri-tech, higher education, smart-ageing technologies, social innovation and the digitisation of the global economy - w ith the agenda of creating jobs

The biennial event will include figures like Glen Dimplex chief executive Sean O' Driscoll, American Ireland Fund chairman Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Coca-Cola executive vice-president Irial Finan, comedian Dara O Briain and author Colum McCann.

The minister said when the first forum was first hosted in 2009 by his predecessor, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, it was a "cry for help" while the second, in 2011, was about economic recovery.

He maintained the lack of bigger household names this year showed delegates were focusing on key sectors and seeing how Ireland can improve its game.

A key plank of this year's events, some of which are being held in Cork, Galway and Belfast, will be to bring in the bosses of 100 small and medium sized companies who will be mentored by renowned entrepreneurs.

Mr O'Driscoll said it is apparent worldwide that Ireland has regained the confidence of the financial market.

"I'm in absolutely no doubt the Irish economy has more than stabilised, the Irish economy is recovering and it's actually recovering far more quicker than most of us realise," he added.

"The next two days is about three words. It's jobs, jobs, jobs."

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