IRELAND is out of recession and back in business, Brian Cowen told American investors yesterday.
Speaking at the New York Stock Exchange at the beginning of a visit to the US, the Taoiseach said a new €500 million innovation fund would help create up to 120,000 jobs during the next decade.
The Government will invest half the money in the project and hopes to attract the rest from venture capital groups, especially US-based ones.
“Venture capital is an essential ingredient for supporting entrepreneurs and ensuring businesses can scale and create jobs. Lack of finance consistently emerges as a key impediment for innovative firms.
“Many successful companies that are now household names, like Google, Facebook and Staples, relied on venture financing to achieve the scale necessary to become multinational companies and provide large numbers of jobs... We must provide the right environment for such companies to develop in Ireland,” he told US business leaders.
“In launching Innovation Fund – Ireland, we are presenting a positive message of confidence.
“The foundations for economic growth are not destroyed, but are firmly in place, ready to be built on. The recovery is underway.
“Not only have we come through the recession, recording the fastest rate of GDP growth in the EU, we will deliver on the step-change needed to secure sustainable economic growth through a significant increase in the level of company start-ups and job creation in innovative, export-focused sectors,” Mr Cowen said.
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