Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Investment incentive plan unveiled

The Taoiseach is encouraging Irish people living abroad to bring jobs and investment back to Ireland

The Government is to offer money to individuals all over the world who convince foreign companies to invest in Ireland.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny unveiled the initiative, which aims to create 5,000 jobs over the next five years.

"The top priority of this Government is to get Ireland back to work and the Action Plan for Jobs was published recently to address this problem," said Mr Kenny.

The Succeed in Ireland scheme, managed by direct investment company IDA Ireland, will encourage individuals within the Irish diaspora to be the eyes and ears of the country abroad.

And the Government will offer an incentive, pledging up to 4,000 euro to people who send foreign companies Ireland's way.

"The Succeed in Ireland initiative, as part of the Action Plan for Jobs, will incentivise people around the world, including our diaspora, to be our eyes and ears on the global stage and help deliver new jobs and investment," said Mr Kenny. "This is an innovative scheme that offers a new channel to reach thousands of small to medium enterprises around the world and spread the word about Ireland's strong reputation as a location for business."

The scheme is the brainchild of Connect Ireland chairman Terry Clune who suggested turning to the global Irish community for help.

"This initiative is open to absolutely everybody," said Mr Clune. "There are 3 million Irish people above the age of 18. Together we all know a huge amount of people."

He added that businesses would be encouraged to set up shop in Ireland if they knew Google, Facebook, Yahoo and You Tube have their European headquarters in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny was unable to reveal official figures of jobs created and jobs lost during Fine Gael and Labour's first year in office, despite previously claiming he would make the numbers available. "Insofar as specific numbers are concerned, obviously they fluctuate up and down," said the Taoiseach.

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