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Clinton to attend think tank on kick-starting our economy

The great and the good, including former US President Bill Clinton, will gather in Dublin next month to hold a second conference in as many years to discuss ideas to kick-start the Irish economy.

Almost 300 people, including many of Ireland's most influential figures from the worlds of business, industry and culture, are expected to attend the gathering hosted by Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore.

Yesterday, Mr Gilmore warmly welcomed Mr Clinton's acceptance of his invitation to attend the forum, which will take place on October 7 and 8, and noted his continued strong interest in Ireland and its future.

"His global economic and political perspective offers a unique opportunity to explore the best ways to meet the challenges before us," Mr Gilmore said.


As well as the 280 guests who have been invited, government ministers, the state agencies, other politicians and leading Irish business people will also attend and President Mary McAleese will be the guest of honour at a formal dinner.

During the gathering, Ireland's politicians want to speak directly to the global Irish network that includes more than 300 people in 37 countries, which was established at the first meeting in 2009. They will be hoping they can provide ideas on boosting employment and repairing Ireland's reputation abroad.

The last forum produced new initiatives to help the tourist industry and other networks to help Irish companies abroad.

This time, Mr Gilmore said the forum would be "results orientated" and that there would be a "robust" follow-up mechanism.

The previous think tank cost €330,000, with this one expected to cost the same.

The sessions will discuss how to improve tourism in Ireland and to promote it abroad, and is seeking job-creation ideas, what to do about what is left of the Irish banks, and steps to expand the food sector.

Indo Business