CEO Update: Safeguarding social cohesion to protect economic competitiveness

December 01, 2023

Dear member,

Yesterday, Ibec hosted our first ‘S in ESG Summit’ at the Intercontinental Hotel Dublin where we were joined by c-suite representatives across a broad range of Ireland’s business community. Speakers at the event included Professor Mark Kramer, Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School and Sarah O’Connor, Journalist at the Financial Times.

The conference’s focus on social sustainability and the future of corporate leadership was timely. As demonstrated by the horrific events that took place in Dublin city centre last week, stability in our society relies intrinsically on strong social cohesion.

This means investing in our infrastructure, supporting our civil and public services, protecting the most vulnerable in our society, and countering those who incite hate or division.

Businesses play a critical role in supporting social cohesion, and Ibec, as the voice of Irish business, has advocated for measures essential to a well-functioning society. Measures such as improved public infrastructure, increased housing stock, a properly resourced public sector, and recognising the importance of immigration have been central to Ibec’s lobbying and message.

Failure to address these issues adequately will have a negative impact on society and adversely affect our overall economic well-being. One of the most valuable sessions of yesterday’s event was the facilitated discussion held at each table on how business can address social challenges. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this dialogue - the insights captured will be harnessed to inform Ibec’s ongoing policy development and lobbying work in this space.

Safeguarding social cohesion is one of a number of measures we need to take to protect our national competitiveness which is increasingly under pressure. Next week Ibec will be engaging directly with TDs and Senators on the current, and very significant, cost competitiveness issues facing business.

Ibec is calling on the Government to better coordinate labour market regulation and cost factors and limit any further cost competitiveness measures which could threaten business viability and employment.

We will also be discussing how we plan and deliver key projects under the National Planning Framework and the Planning and Development Bill as there are a number of planning measures that will have significant implications for how Ireland can support housing, employment and infrastructural requirements.


Best regards,

Danny McCoy