Taoiseach addresses FIBI International Banking Conference
Published in Merrion Street.ie, Government’s News Service
March 22, 2012
Taoiseach Enda Kenny today addressed the FIBI International Banking Conference. In his address, the Taoiseach spoke of the importance of international banking and the financial services sector to the Irish economy:
The international banking industry brings to Ireland high value jobs. IFSC companies employ more than 25,000 people in Ireland. Some 40% of this employment is accounted for by banks alone. I was delighted to learn that overall employment increased in the IFSC in 2010 for the first time in three years.
That is why in July 2011, I had the pleasure of launching the Strategy for the International Financial Services Industry in Ireland 2011-2016, setting a target of growing employment in the sector by 10,000 over 5 years….
The target is ambitious and challenging. But less than 12 years ago, the IFSC employed only 8,500 people; it now employs 33,000. We are building from a position of far greater strength than we were then.
The Taoiseach highlighted the areas of Islamic Finance and green economy:
Ireland has been active in concluding double taxation agreements with important Islamic States, including recently Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE. We are determined to ensure that the IFSC is a Centre of Excellence for Islamic Finance and the changes in recent Finance Acts will support its development. The Central Bank of Ireland has already authorised a number of Sharia compliant funds.
Another area where we see significant potential for growth for the Irish financial sector is the green economy.
On Monday last in New York the Green IFSC’s Global Green Asset Management Network was launched thereby taking a further step forward towards achieving that goal.
Irish green asset management and green enterprise firms are active all over the globe from China to Chile and Ireland to Africa and, with $10 billion in green assets managed or serviced, Ireland is already emerging as a world leader in green finance. The establishment of this network can only serve to accelerate the continued growth and copper-fasten Ireland’s growing reputation in this sector.
The Taoiseach concluded:
It is vital that the next generation of innovations from the financial sector are seen as having played a key role in recovery, jobs and the creation of new industries, and that financial institutions in Ireland are at the centre of these developments.
I’ll finish by saying that there is no better time to invest in Ireland and to be part of our recovery story. This is what I was told US investors this week and what I’ll tell Chinese investors next week. Ireland is open for business.
Picture shows from left, Tom Young, President of FIBI; Taoiseach Enda Kenny ;Sharon Bowles, MEP and Chair of the EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs; and Alan Murphy, Managing Partner, Eversheds at the conference today