Thursday 22 February 2018

More than 100 London firms 'have asked about moving to Ireland'

Finance Minister Michael Noonan Picture: Collins
Finance Minister Michael Noonan Picture: Collins
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Finance Minister Michael Noonan says there is "no doubt" a number of City of London companies will locate all or parts of their businesses to Ireland in the wake of Brexit.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Noonan said that Ireland had gotten more than 100 enquiries from firms in the City of London. He said that Amsterdam, not Paris, was emerging as the main rival to Dublin in terms of attracting investment.

Mr Noonan denied that the Government was being "predatory" in its approach towards companies and financial institutions based in the City of London.

"We'll get our share, there is no doubt at all," he said.

"There are many very serious financial services companies committed to coming to Dublin. But it depends on where the Brexit negotiations are trending. I don't think they'll wait to the end of the negotiations."

Banks that have indicated they will move staff out of the City of London include HSBC and UBS, with Dublin a potential location for a host of international financial institutions and insurers.

Mr Noonan is attending Davos with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Martin Shanahan, chief executive of the IDA.

The trio embarked on a hectic schedule of meetings, pressing the message to investors that Ireland is a stable proposition post-Brexit.

Mr Kenny last night vowed that Ireland's "comprehensive and consistent tax policy" would not change.

Mr Kenny was addressing more than 50 CEOs and executives from major multi-nationals at an IDA dinner.

"Ireland will continue its pro-enterprise policies which have been the cornerstone of our economy for many years," said the Taoiseach at the oversubscribed IDA dinner.

"Ireland is prepared and work is well under way for the challenges posed by Brexit," Mr Kenny told the group of existing and target investors. "We have an open, educated workforce. We will be the only English speaking country in the EU and will remain a member of the Union."

Speaking from the Forum, Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said “Davos is one of the most important events for IDA Ireland every year.  Leaders from across the business and political worlds are all in the one place, at the one time, giving us a great opportunity to meet with key clients and prospective investors.

“IDA Ireland has had 20 plus meetings over the course of the week with existing and potential client companies. Participation at Davos increases Ireland’s profile internationally. IDA has also participated in several international media interviews to promote Ireland as a place for business and attended a number of WEF events.

"We've never had more people employed in FDI companies in Ireland - it was fantastic to have so many senior decision makers from different industries at our event to hear, first-hand, why Ireland is such a great place to invest", concluded Mr Shanahan.

The Irish delegation at Davos has played down the question of Ireland's corporate tax regime and pressure in Europe to move towards a common, consolidated corporate tax base in the wake of the €13bn Apple tax ruling, which the Government is appealing.

In an earlier interview with CNBC, Mr Kenny defended the Coalition, describing it as stable - and said "not at all" when he was asked if Irish voters would go to the polls in 2017.

Irish Independent

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