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Wednesday 25 April 2018

No vote would scare off investors -- PayPal boss

Elaine Keogh

Ireland risks losing major investment from 10 international companies if it fails to vote Yes in the referendum on the fiscal treaty, it has been claimed.

That was the stark warning yesterday from the vice-president of PayPal's global operations, Irishwoman Louise Phelan.

Speaking about a meeting she attended yesterday morning with the chief executive officers of 10 companies, she said there was "concern" about a No vote and "there is business out there for the taking (by Ireland) but the decisions are not going to be made until after May 31."

Speaking in Dundalk yesterday, where she was to address a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Ms Phelan said the concern over the ramifications of a No vote is not that investment will pull out of Ireland but that, "people are not making decisions on coming into Ireland on the basis of waiting for May 31".

Asked if a Yes vote was needed to secure those jobs for Ireland she said: "Correct."

"I met 10 CEOs this morning and the feedback they have given me (is) there is business out there for the taking for Ireland, but the decisions are not going to be made until after May 31," she added.

Responding to the most recent survey on voters intentions which revealed 35pc have still to make up their minds, Ms Phelan added that, "it is the people who are undecided that we are focusing on.

"Everybody is entitled to have a vote and (in relation to) the undecided -- we need to convert them to a Yes vote."

She said, whatever the fiscal history of the current crisis, that the fiscal treaty, "is about ensuring we have good house-keeping and we don't live beyond our means".

PayPal employs 1,600 people in its Dublin operation and will have 230 people working in its Dundalk operation by the end of this year; the company will open the Dundalk premises on July 1 next. It will grow the Dundalk operation to a total of 1,000 jobs in the coming years.

Irish Independent

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