IRELAND'S ideal location between the US and Europe represents a unique advantage for Asian companies that want to grow their global operations, the IDA's director of growth markets Eileen Sharpe said yesterday.
Ms Sharpe told Asia Business Week Dublin that the IDA was placing a "growing emphasis on Asia", building on its "track record" in attracting investment from the world's top blue chip companies, as it promotes the country as the prime European location for Asian firms.
The talent pool and the tax regime found in Ireland, the only English-speaking country in the eurozone, will help drive growth in Asian FDI into Ireland; while the assistance that the IDA can provide with visas and work permits for Asian workers will be valued by potential investors, she said.
Several major Chinese financial institutions including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China run their aircraft leasing operations from the IFSC, and the IDA is determined to show Asia that "Ireland is the place for you to manage your international operations", Ms Sharpe said.
The three-day event, hosted by the Asia Matters think-tank and Dublin City Council, opened at the Mansion House yesterday with the Dublin Beijing Business Summit.
As representatives from Chinese pharma companies looked to strike research agreements with Irish partners, CoderDojo – a voluntary network that introduces computer programming to children as young as seven – discussed entry into the Chinese market with the Zhongguancun-based Digital Content Industries Hub Association.
Gina Quin, of Dublin's Chamber of Commerce, said her organisation was working hard to build on the successes achieved since the twinning of Dublin and Beijing in 2011.
Ms Quin added that Dublin's growing reputation as the "digital capital of Europe" would open up significant opportunities for bi-lateral co-operation.
The digital landscape, people and the economy were the "three pillars of success" that would attract blue-chip firms to Ireland, Joan Mulvihill of the Irish Internet Association's told delegates.
The IDA and Enterprise Ireland were supported by "building blocks" as they looked to develop digital co-operation with Asia, she added.
Asia Business Week Dublin continues today with the Asia Ireland Trade and Investment Summit and the Asia Matters Economic Innovation Awards, and concludes tomorrow with the Fourth EU-Asia Top Economists Roundtable.