Chamber says Cork will continue to see foreign investment here

Chamber says Cork will continue to see foreign investment here
US company Apple has had a major facility at Hollyhill for the last three decades. Picture: Denis Scannell

AMERICAN business interests in Cork are secure, despite the policies of the Trump presidency.

Fears had been expressed that changes in tax policy may threaten the future of some US businesses in Cork.

However, officials at Cork Chamber say that there is nothing to worry about on Leeside, citing the invitation of the Lord Mayor to attend a St Patrick's Day event at the White House as proof of the strong relationship between Cork and the United States.

Cllr Des Cahill is currently in Washington DC at the invitation of the US embassy.

Chamber Chief Executive Conor Healy said, "It's a very welcome invitation. Collectively, Cork City and Cork County Councils and Cork Chamber have all built a strong relationship with the embassy.

"The links between Cork and the US are extremely strong and the invitation for the Lord Mayor to visit Washington DC is proof of that."

Cork Chamber counts a number of American multinationals among its members.

Mr Healy said that while there may have been some concerns about the impact of proposed tax changes in the US, Cork has nothing to worry about.

He said, "The concerns that are being expressed are around tax policy and about what impact any changes might have.

Cork Chamber Chief Executive Conor Healy
Cork Chamber Chief Executive Conor Healy

"I think if you look at what President Trump has said about his objectives in terms of change in the US, it won't necessarily negatively impact us here.

"If you look at the profile of the US companies based in Europe, they are here because they need an operational base outside the US. They are global companies which, by definition, cannot operate entirely in one location."

President Trump's policies are more likely to impact big operators who have moved operations out of the US or who do not have a US base at all, according to Mr Healy.

"I think we will see continued investment," he said.

"Since the election, we have seen ongoing announcements by US companies in Ireland and here in Cork and I think that will continue.

"Our track record in meeting the needs of US companies is clear: the skillset required is here and access to the European marketplace is here too."

In fact, Cork is well-positioned to see a further influx of US companies in the coming months and years, Mr Healy added.

He said, "We have a potential advantage here, too. There could be opportunities in sectors like ICT, pharma or life sciences. Many of those organisations have developed their EU activities in the UK and, post-Brexit, the UK may not be an option for them anymore.

"We will be the only English speaking country in the EU and that is a major advantage for Ireland and for Cork."

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