Eire's Attraction For Investment 'Undiminished'

Despite the ongoing political turmoil, former Fianna Fail leader Brian Cowen has claimed Ireland's ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment is "undiminished".

Taoiseach Brian Cowen made the comments this morning at a special event in the Department of Foreign Affairs, involving the President of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue.

Mr Cowen said that the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) in Ireland had created 11,000 jobs last year "in the face of tough international competition".

Noting that many of those jobs were created as a result of direct investment from the United States Mr Cowen said: "The United States is our largest merchandise and services trading partner – with a combined value of over €50 billion a year – and latest figures indicate that exports from Ireland to the United States last year were up almost 8% on the year before."

The Taoiseach's comments come only a day after his resignation threw new uncertainties onto the already damaged reputation of the Irish business sector.

However, investment firm Ecclesiastical bucked the trend of bad news today, announcing it would create up to 20 jobs as part of a €2.4m investment to help grow the specialist insurance group's operations throughout Ireland.

Speaking about the investment, managing director for Ecclesiastical's Ireland business, Ronan Foley said: "This investment is greater than our previous investment made at the height of the economic boom and signals our confidence in Ireland at a time when there is a lot of doom and gloom about.

"We believe the Irish economy is strong enough to get through the current financial and economic pressures and we believe that now is a good time to leverage our position in the market across the island."


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