Strategy for the Development of the International Financial Services Industry in Ireland
International financial services have been a jewel in the crown of Irelands economy over the past decade. The International Financial Services Centre, which was born on a patch of urban decline in 1987, has been the driving force behind the development of the sector. The IFSC is largely responsible for the world-wide reputation Ireland now enjoys as a centre of excellence in the provision of financial services. The Centre has provided a hub around which a world-class support network has grown, encompassing software development, telecommunications, shared services centres and legal and accountancy skills. It has also served as a focus to attract the best and brightest of Irelands young talent into the industry.
Since 1987, successive Governments have shown a strong commitment to the development of international financial services in Ireland. As Minister for Finance I was involved in promoting the IFSC and I have retained a deep interest in the industry since then. The success of the IFSC would not have been possible without the commitment of Government to providing an environment which reflects the ever-changing needs of this most dynamic industry. This support, demonstrated at the highest level through the co-ordinating role of my own Department, has played an important part in building up a highly successful financial centre in a short period of time.
The Government has now adopted this Strategy to use the success of the IFSC as a springboard for the further development and expansion of international financial services in Ireland. The Strategy seeks to maximise the level and quality of employment in the industry and to enhance links with related sectors. It sets out the opportunities and challenges which industry will face in the coming years and mandates Government Departments and Agencies to provide the support necessary to meet these challenges.
The Strategy is the result of intensive consultation between the different sectors in industry and the relevant Government Departments and Agencies. I would like to thank all those who contributed and, in particular, the members of the IFSC Clearing House Group and IFSC Working Groups which operate under the aegis of my Department.
I am confident that this Strategy will serve as the cornerstone of a continued partnership approach to policy formation for the industry - an approach which has reaped huge dividends in the past and which will, I hope, continue to do so in the future.
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