Belfast Telegraph

Clinton set for Irish economy forum

Former US president Bill Clinton will join hundreds of influential figures from the Irish diaspora for a major economic forum in Dublin next month, it has been announced.

Some 280 delegates - including top names from the worlds of business, culture and industry - will attend the event at Dublin Castle in the heart of the capital.

It will be the second occasion that an Irish government has convened the Global Irish Economic Forum to gather ideas to kick-start the economy.

Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore said he was delighted Mr Clinton had accepted an invitation to attend.

"President Clinton's leadership on the key challenges of our time, including the global economy, aid and disaster relief is widely recognised," Mr Gilmore said.

"He continues to take a strong interest in Ireland and in its future. His global economic and political perspective offers a unique opportunity to explore the best ways to meet the challenges before us."

Mr Gilmore, who briefed the Cabinet on the forum, said the objectives of the two-day event included engaging directly with members of the global Irish network to boost the economy and slash the country's 14.4% unemployment rate.

The event, on October 7 and 8, is also designed to help the Government boost Ireland's reputation overseas and build on the success of the previous forum two years ago.

The first global economic forum, under the previous Fianna Fail/Green Party administration, was held in the leafy Farmleigh Estate in Phoenix Park in September 2009.

It was attended by 130 leading Irish figures from across the world including anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof, billionaire media tycoon Denis O'Brien, management guru Sir Gerry Robinson, former Intel chief Craig Barrett, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, and Riverdance creators John McColgan and Moya Doherty.

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