Ibec CEO Danny McCoy today described the late TK Whitaker as a key to establishing the economic foundations upon which business in modern Ireland has thrived so successfully upon. He leaves a business legacy of promoting free trade, internationalisation and a prosperous all-island economy.
Mr McCoy said: "TK Whitaker was instrumental in the opening up Ireland’s economy to the world, positioning our course toward the single European market and fuelling our convergence with living standards of developed economies, the fruits of which we continue to enjoy today. His resolute support for free trade and internationalisation has resonated throughout the decades on this island and remain a corner stone of economic policy.
"His ‘Economic Development’ document published whilst the head of the Department of Finance, was a turning point in Irish economic policy and underpinned the first Programme for Economic Expansion. ‘Economic Development’ put a strong focus on making Ireland internationally open and competitive at the heart of economic policy.
"During a dark period of modern Irish history, characterised by emigration and unemployment, Whitaker espoused a clear vision for the future. This included building on the success of other initiatives of the time, including the nascent IDA and the export profits tax relief scheme which formed the basis of our FDI policy.
"TK Whitaker will also be remembered for his efforts in fostering cross-border relations, consistently adopting an all-island economic perspective on issues and was central to opening up dialogue between the administrations on both parts of the island."