Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s a pleasure to be here today in George’s Quay House to announce the expansion of Fidelity International in Ireland.
I’d like to start by acknowledging and thanking Brian Conroy (CEO & President of Fidelity International) and Paul Burd (Head of Operations for Fidelity International) for driving this exciting project. I’d also like to thank Martin Shanahan and all staff at IDA Ireland for their assistance with this, and countless other, investment projects.
Today we welcome the creation of 250 new jobs. That’s a doubling of Fidelity International’s current Irish workforce and a long distance from the 30 employees it started with back in 2000.
As Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, I’m conscious that every single job created isn’t just a number – it’s a life changed, often a family’s life changed, and a community enhanced.
And these are high quality jobs. Fidelity International’s core business is focused around the provision of Fund Accounting, Investment Operations, Treasury, Foreign Exchange and Client Services. I understand the Dublin team operates as an integral part of the company’s global organisation, which spans 24 countries, 7,000 employees and is responsible for $397 billion worth of assets. These new hires will work in the areas of Technology, Middle Office, Investment Servicing and Customer Support.
It might go unnoticed to many, but management and employees in Irish subsidiaries constantly compete with sister sites of the same company for key strategic investments. They must show leadership - and indeed entrepreneurship – to get a project to Ireland. And when they win, Ireland wins.
Expanding the presence of existing companies here is a key feature of Ireland’s FDI model. Through the success of those initial operations - a success driven by their employees - the parent company is happy to build and expand. Success and profitability, generated by dedicated and talented workers, lead to further success, to new investments, to higher value activities on an onwards and upwards trajectory.
And of course your expansion here is also a tribute to the work of IDA Ireland which seeks out the very best FDI. I would like to thank Martin and his team for their hard work. You can be assured that IDA Ireland will continue to work with your company in the coming years.
This year Ireland was ranked first for the quality of our FDI for the sixth year in a row, highlighting our continued ability to attract high-value investment projects in key sectors such as ICT, life sciences and financial services.
Ireland has world-class expertise in financial services with both world-leading companies and niche players located here. We have well over 400 companies employing over 40,000 people directly in the sector, including more than 200 Irish owned companies.
We have a five-year whole of Government plan in place – the IFS 2020 Strategy - providing a framework in which both public and private stakeholders work together to ensure the further growth and development of the sector in Ireland.
As we all know, Financial Services is a very mobile sector but we are very confident that we can maintain and further develop the exciting growth that has taken place already in this sector here in Ireland.
We live in uncertain economic and political times. Massive technological disruption, and the urgent need to address issues such as climate change, adds to the challenges for small open economies.
Brexit, of course, poses an unprecedented challenge for the Irish economy and its effects are already manifest in the form of the currency situation, general business uncertainty and decisions about whether to invest or not.
As Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, I am actively working across government, with our agencies and industry, to ensure we are ‘Brexit ready’.
Ireland remains a committed member of the EU, benefitting from the many advantages that EU membership brings, including bilateral trade agreements.
We will be very much part of the EU team in the period ahead, deepening and strengthening our engagement with the Member States.
Ireland will continue to have access to a Single Market of 27 Members with 450 million people. We already enjoy trade benefits from 50 EU Preferential Trade, Partnership or Association Agreements. We are working with the EU on the development of more ambitious and comprehensive bilateral trade agreements with 3rd countries for the future.
I had the opportunity to discuss one such agreement first-hand last week when I was in Japan on an EI/IDA trade & investment mission. We want to develop our trade links and deepen our relationship with Japan at this time of enhanced economic partnership. We strongly welcome the new EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which will allow Ireland and Japan to do more business together and it is good news in particular for our food exporters.
As a Government, we are continuing to work hard to make Ireland an attractive location in which to do business, with a minimum of administrative hurdles.
We will do everything we can to provide and maintain an attractive working environment for companies like yours. This means a relentless drive to improve our competitiveness across the board and, especially, to ensure that the necessary skills are available to satisfy the complex staffing requirements of companies like yours. It also means providing, insofar as possible in this uncertain world, a predictable legal and regulatory framework in which companies like Fidelity International can operate.
Ireland’s economy is now entering a mature phase in its recovery. After years of sustained economic growth and falling unemployment, we are now dealing with the issues of a growing, rather than a contracting economy.
Next week we will deliver a budget that balances the books for the first time in 10 years.
It will be a budget that invests in vital public services and reduces our income tax rates in a sustainable way.
And it will be a budget that outlines a long-term vision for the country, giving the sort of certainty that families and businesses need in this time of uncertainty.
On that positive note I will conclude. I wish you the very best with and I look forward to hearing of your ongoing success in the coming years.
For further information please contact Press Office. D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation ph. 6312200 or firstname.lastname@example.org