Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Irish ambassador upbeat on enterprise economy

Ireland's ambassador to the UAE says the nation is open for business as usual, despite its financial crisis.

Ireland is "open for business as usual" despite its financial crisis, says Ciaran Madden, the country's ambassador to the UAE.

"There are two sides to Ireland's problems," said Mr Madden. "The fiscal economy is in difficulties but the enterprise economy is still strong."

He was speaking publicly for the first time since the Irish government agreed to accept a vital bailout of up to 90 billion (Dh437.83bn) from international monetary authorities.

Ireland has sought stronger political and economic ties with the Middle East for some time and opened an embassy in Abu Dhabi this year. Irish ministers have paid four visits to the UAE recently.

"We have big difficulties in the financial sector, there is no escaping that but what we call the 'enterprise economy' - the multinational and indigenous businesses that are the real driving force - are still strong," Mr Madden said.

He pointed out that Irish exports had risen 6 per cent this year and that 75 foreign companies had invested in Ireland, of which 25 were first-time investments.

"People will still want to come to Ireland for the same reasons as before: we have an educated, English-speaking population, with access to the EU," Mr Madden said. "Those facts will not change."

He said it was crucial Ireland had kept the 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate, making it one of the most attractive places in Europe for foreigners to do business. "That is essential to our recovery."

There has been speculation that the country's financial problems would lead to an increase in emigration to the Middle East.

"So far, we have not seen Irish people coming to the UAE in greater numbers than before but it has been a destination for Irish expatriates for some time now anyway and that will continue to be the case," Mr Madden said.

He said the Gaelic sports club in Al Ain had been unable to field a football team this year but now it had a full complement, thanks largely to the Irish construction staff working on the Oasis Hospital being built there.

"Irish people will bring those kinds of construction skills to the UAE, as well as expertise in other areas like teaching and financial services," Mr Madden said. There are about 5,000 Irish citizens in the UAE and 50 Irish companies operating here.

"Ireland will be an even more attractive place for visitors, be it for tourism or business," he said. "Without diminishing the pain of what people are going through, the country is not a bleak wasteland."

fkane@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Miele coffee maker making Cappuccino at Miele Gallery in Sama Tower in Dubai. The cost of this coffee maker is around Dh 17,000. Pawan Singh / The National

Space-age coffee comes at a price from Miele

Miele have taken the coffee machine to a new level with its Dh17,000 offering that is built into your kitchen.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 The rush of new supply of hotel rooms pushed Dubai occupancy rates down to 87 per cent. Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai hotel room rates rise 10 per cent

The rush of new supply pushed occupancy rates down to 87 per cent, a dip of 2.6 per cent from the previous year. Winter months are the strongest for Dubai hotels, with occupancy and prices falling to half their peaks by July.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National