Taoiseach, launching the IFS 2020,

 

Tánaiste, Minister Harris, Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon.

I’d like to thank Alastair and the Accenture team for hosting us here for the launch of IFS2020, Ireland’s new strategy for International Financial Services.

This is an especially fitting location for our launch today. I know Accenture are supporting the development of Irish Financial Services Technology start ups as part of their “Fintech Innovation Lab” programme and promoting Fintech is a key priority within our new Strategy.

The launch of this Strategy is timely and important. Thanks to the sacrifices of the Irish people we are now back on the road to recovery.

But we know that many families across our country are still to feel the effects of recovery.

This is why the Government has kept job creation the number one priority for the year ahead.

Our vision is that by 2018 everyone who wants a job in Ireland can have one.

We have to create 40,000 new jobs this year, and each year until 2018 in order to achieve this.

I am confident that we will hit these targets and create an environment where many of those who left our shores can return to new jobs and new careers at home in Ireland.

This is where this strategy being launched here today will come into play.

As part of our Action Plan for Jobs we want to grow the International Financial Services industry and create new jobs.

And with this new strategy, we are targeting the creation of another 10,000 net new jobs in the sector by 2020.

That’s an ambitious target for an individual sector and one that must compete on a global basis, against the best of the best.

But, this is what Ireland does best. When I travel to the United States tomorrow I will be talking about how Ireland competes and wins on the global stage. Why we punch above our weight to land jobs and new investment.

The new strategy we are launching today will ensure that International Financial Services companies based in Ireland will continue to thrive and prosper.

This Strategy recognises that the sector today is no longer just about companies based in Dublin’s docklands. In fact, today, one third of international financial services jobs, or 12,000 people, are outside of Dublin, in counties like Donegal, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Kilkenny and Louth.

Only last week, I announced 300 new jobs in Northern Trust in Limerick. The week before, I was present for the opening of MetLife’s expanded offices in Dublin. These are only small examples of the exciting developments taking place all over the country in this industry.

In recognition of the importance of the sector to Ireland I have nominated Minister Harris as Minister of State with special responsibility for International Financial Services.

I know that Minister Harris will speak a bit more about the content of the Strategy. From my perspective I am confident it will ensure that companies of all sizes, whether multinationals with thousands of employees, or ambitious Irish start ups fuelled by our entrepreneurial spirit, will continue to see Ireland as a location where their business can thrive, succeed and create jobs.


Conclusion
I want to conclude my remarks by thanking everyone here who played a role in shaping the new Strategy. I commend Minister Harris for his work in leading its development, and would also like to thank everyone here today who contributed.

Implementation will begin immediately, overseen by a public sector High Level Implementation Committee chaired by Minister Harris. This will be supported by my Department and will meet regularly with the new Industry Advisory Committee.

I look forward to seeing the results of this strategy come to fruition over the coming years. You can be assured it has my full support.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh