A major foreign direct investment conference taking place in London later this week is the ideal opportunity to attract a larger slice of the UK market to these shores.
The upcoming fDi Forum which takes place on Thursday will give representatives of the Cork business community a chance to tap into the UK market in order to attract further investment.
Speaking ahead of the event, IDA Ireland South-West regional manager, Ray O’Connor said despite being on our doorstep, the UK market has not proven as successful a hunting ground from which to attract FDI as North America, for example.
“We really need to explore how we can attract more companies here.
“I suppose, having spoken to some of my colleagues in London, it’s more challenging to attract companies that are right next door in Europe to locate here, but we have had some successes.
“We do have discussions on Cork being less costly than London and we have had some companies consolidate operations from London into Cork, which is great.
"But I think arguing that Cork js cheaper and better is one many locations can also make, including some locations in the UK which are cheaper than Cork. So I think there needs to be a different approach - one that is all about going out and and partnering,” Mr O’Connor said.
Accommodating companies by leveraging the area’s leading research and education institutions, such as the Tyndall National Institute and the Beaufort Research Lab in Ringaskiddy can offer Cork a competitive advantage in attracting companies.
Showcasing the success of companies who are either indigenous to the region or have established operations in Cork is another key tactic in convincing companies to set up shop in the area.
Mr O’Connor said there are more than 100 UK-based companies operating in Ireland at the moment employing some 6,700 workers.
In Cork, there are “in the region of 10” companies which employ more than 900 staff.
Joining the Cork delegation at the fDi Forum will be senior representatives from Cork City Council, including director of strategic planning and economic development, Pat Ledwidge, along with some of the region’s FDI success stories, including Tyco, as well as indigenous success stories who have built global brands out of Cork including Voxpro and Teamwork.com.
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