US investment into Ireland remains buoyant and there is little to threaten the business ties between the two countries in the future, one of Dell EMC’s most senior executives has said.
Vice president of the cloud computing company’s centres in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Bob Savage was speaking at a Cork Chamber’s monthly event on the future of the company.
Dell EMC employs around 3,000 people in Cork and 2,000 staff in Limerick and Dublin.
“Right now we have 155,000 people employed by 700-plus US companies, and maybe another 100,000 indirectly employed. I think the US sector, in particular, is very buoyant, and people still see here as a great place to do business.
“The talented people here are capable of managing and innovating, working across time zones, and they have multilingual capability. It means we have a base there.
“We won’t go after everything because there are certain things we have to focus on, but I believe foreign direct investment drives a lot of our economy and creates opportunities to go off and develop in the indigenous sector,” he said.
Mr Savage said US investment had led to a surge in indigenous startups since the beginning of the century.
“Another factor is that if you look at our indigenous companies that are doing well, in the tech space particularly, as well as high- performance startups now scaling, an awful lot of the people who started those up got their experience working in US multinationals.”
There is a legacy right back to Henry Ford between the US investing in Ireland and it showed no sign of changing now, he said.
There had been fears that American multinationals may pull back on investments in Ireland because of US president Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric.
However, those fears have proven unfounded, with firms like Eli Lilly investing €200m at its facility near Kinsale, while Californian-headquartered BioMarin recently announced a €37m injection into upgrading its Shanbally site in Cork.