Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has said that adequate planning and investment is vital for the North West to achieve its economic potential. The call comes as the group meets with the Chargé d’Affairs of the US Embassy, Reece Smyth, today in Donegal Town to outline the challenges facing the region in attracting foreign direct investment.
Ahead of the meeting, Ibec North West Regional President and MD Masonite Ireland Cormac Kearns said: “Ireland has acted as a strategic gateway to Europe for US companies for over a century, providing US firms with a home away from home experience including a strong pro-business environment and access to an EU market of over 500 million people. With the Brexit process underway, the ties between the two countries are likely to deepen in the years ahead with Ireland offering an even more strategic gateway into the EU and EMEA.
“However, to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by this relationship, investment in the region is critical. Connectivity, skills development and infrastructure provision must be prioritised, now more than ever, to mitigate the impact of Brexit on the region and strengthen our competitive position.”
Terry MacNamara, Ibec North West Regional Director said:
“The region needs investment in infrastructure to maintain competitiveness. One of the main challenges for the region is peripherality, with poor accessibility placing the region at a distinct disadvantage in terms of attracting FDI and economic development. Without this investment, Brexit only stands to accentuate the challenges facing the region.
“Investment in the region’s road network will have a major say in the region’s growth and prosperity. Equally, investment in education, particularly higher education, must be regarded as a priority. The region’s economic growth and success is underpinned by highly talented and educated people.
“Brexit and competitiveness pressures will be particularly acute for indigenous business. These pressures cannot be ignored when delivering budgetary policy into the future. Budget 2019 must see us make strategic choices by continuing to update our attractiveness as a place to invest or grow a business. Successful businesses are fundamental to a prosperous region”.