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ANY suggestion that the Lisbon Treaty has nothing to do with our economy or our future economic success is wrong.
It is also wrong to say that foreign direct investment will not be affected by a second rejection of the treaty.
Multinational companies look for stability and certainty when investing overseas.
At a time when competition for foreign direct investment is very intense, a No vote would have a negative impact on confidence and add to the international concerns about our economy.
As president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, I know that for many of our members’ companies, a crucial part of their strategy and reason for being here is that Ireland is a part of Europe.
Not only that, but Ireland is seen to have influence and power within Europe. If there is any doubt about our commitment to Europe or our influence within the union, it could cause future investment to be lost to Ireland.
Investing directly in mainland Europe would be considerably more attractive than investing in an island off the continent which has little influence. Multinational companies, including Intel, Pfizer and Leo Pharma, have independently declared their support for a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum.
These companies, together with the American Chamber and IBEC, are very clear about the importance of a Yes vote to future jobs and investment in this country.
US multinationals have invested a total of $146 billion in Ireland. More than 600 companies are responsible for the direct and indirect employment of almost 300,000 people. 40% of Ireland’s corporate tax take has been paid by multinational companies and US firms contribute €13bn to the economy in terms of payroll and goods and services employed in their operations.
The contribution of foreign direct investment to the Irish economy is immense and continued investment by these companies will be critical to our economic recovery.
A Yes vote is a vote for jobs and investment and will send a powerful signal to the global investment community that we remain committed members of the EU.
Dr Paul Duffy
American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland
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