Connecting Cork tells London launch that city means business post-Brexit

Cork Chamber launched a major initiative in London last night to showcase opportunities in what will be the second largest English-speaking city in the EU post-Brexit.

As part of its Connecting Cork project, the chamber hosted its first invitation-only dinner for about 150 of London’s most influential business leaders.

Chamber president, Barrie O’Connell, said the key message is “Cork means business”.

The financial services and banking sectors are among the key targets.

The event, organised in partnership with Irish International Business Network, IDA Ireland, and Irish Funds, included a panel discussion with Cork-based business leaders, including Donal Sullivan, VP of Tyco, Peter Coppinger, the founder and CEO of fast growing start-up Teamwork.com, and Peter Kane, managing director of financial services firm, Citco Fund Services in Cork.

Mr Kane told the audience that Citco chose Cork because of the availability of cheap office space, access to a dynamic and educated workforce, and the fact there is connectivity — eight daily flights — to London.

“It’s been a raging success since we came over 10 years ago,” he said.

Mr Coppinger said companies like his need four things to be successful.

“We need access to talent, great office space, internet connectivity to the rest of the world, and a great lifestyle — and Cork has all of those,” he said.

The delegation included local government officials and the presidents of UCC and CIT, developer and event sponsor, John Cleary, which is responsible for some of Cork city’s biggest office block developments, including the City Gate campuses in Mahon, One Albert Quay and the Capitol regeneration project, and Richard Martin of Ronan Daly Jermyn, one of Ireland’s top 10 full service law firms which has a staff of over 230 based in offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway, and London.

Mr O’Connell said the event provides a platform to promote the region to major decision makers and influencers — and kick-start conversations and beneficial relationships which will continue. “In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, Cork must be proactive in promoting the Cork region on an international stage, and where better than with our nearest neighbours in the UK?

“With a series of major new high-end office developments now complete and others on the way, this is the opportune time to showcase Cork as a location of choice for global investment.”

The event, he said, will also help Cork learn from its diaspora based in London and the UK about how the city can improve its investment offering and better understand what UK-based businesses are looking for when expanding operations internationally.

Connecting Cork is a Chamber initiative which aims to position Cork internationally and build connections in key global cities and markets.

Earlier this month, chamber representatives met key business leaders and organisations in San Francisco, including Apple CEO Tim Cook at the computer giant’s global headquarters in Cupertino.

They will embark on a similar trip to Cork’s twin city, the Chinese mega city, Shanghai, in November.

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