Thursday 23 November 2017

British Irish Chamber of Commerce call for a Tech Ambassador in Silicon Valley

John McGrane Director of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Steve Humphreys
John McGrane Director of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has called for the Government to turn Brexit into an opportunity for Ireland’s tech sector by appointing a Technology Ambassador in Silicon Valley.

In addition the Chamber has urged the Government to develop a national ICT hub to drive innovation.

In a new ICT policy paper published today, the Chamber said that the Irish ICT sector had played a critical role in fuelling employment growth in recent years with over 105,000 people working in the sector in Ireland today, an increase of 40pc since 2010.

Today the Dublin docklands area, which is at the centre of growth in the ICT sector in Ireland, is home to more than 1,200 start-ups and 250 global tech companies.

Speaking at the publication of the policy paper, John McGrane, the director-general of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said that Ireland was well placed to maximise the limited benefits from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

"The Chamber is promoting Ireland as the next best option for UK firms that need unfettered access to the EU’s Single Market, in particular within the fintech sector," Mr McGrane said.

Among the recommendations put forward by the Chamber are that the Government introduce a reduced rate of capital gains tax for entrepreneurs engaged in innovation activities, increase the investment limit of the start-up refunds for entrepreneurs from €100,000 to €250,000, and reduce the rate of marginal personal taxation.

Mr McGrane went on to say that the ability to attract suitably skilled employees to Ireland was proving to be a significant challenge.

"If we are to win this ‘war for talent’, the high tax burden on employees and firms relocating to Ireland must be urgently addressed," he said.

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