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By Chamber Press Office, 08 February 2019
At a time when others are looking increasingly inward, Dublin must seize on the opportunity to look outward and build new relationships around the world.
That was the message delivered by Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, as he made his inaugural speech as President of Dublin Chamber, the group which represents businesses in the Dublin region.
Mr Gibbons was speaking to an audience of more than 500 business leaders, including An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, at the Chamber's AGM Dinner in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin (Thursday 7th February). The dinner was held to mark Mr Gibbons' official appointment as President of Dublin Chamber.
To help further Dublin's ability to compete for jobs and investment in the future, Mr Gibbons told the audience that his goal for the year will be to carry out a global benchmarking exercise that will identify how Dublin is viewed around the world. The initiative will seek to identify the areas that Dublin must address if its global reputation is to be improved in the years to come.
Mr Gibbons said the initiative will complement the Government’s Global Ireland initiative which seeks to double Ireland’s global footprint between now and 2025.
Mr Gibbons said: “In an increasingly globalised world, a city’s reputation is central to its ability to do business. The Taoiseach’s ambition is for the Government to double Ireland’s global footprint by 2025; we need to do the same for Dublin. As Ireland’s capital city, and the engine of the Irish economy, it plays a key role in national success. The need for a successful Dublin has never been greater. If Dublin is to keep attracting jobs, investment and the best talent, then we need to ensure that the city’s reputation abroad is as strong as it can be. That’s why, to complement the work of Government, Dublin Chamber is embarking on a project to benchmark Dublin. The aim of this project will be to paint a picture of how the world views Dublin. The findings will be used to identify the areas that need to be addressed to ensure Dublin is able to compete with the best cities in the world.”
Mr Gibbons said: “Dublin Chamber will continue to set its sights on developing stronger international relationships - something all the more important as we see political turbulence impact on what had once been dependable political norms and institutions. Dublin Chamber, in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, will lead a joint delegation of business leaders to Washington DC during St. Patrick’s week to show that this island is open for business and to restate the importance of the Good Friday Agreement as the basis of prosperity."
Mr Gibbons also used his speech to call on Government to pull the pin on the key infrastructure projects - notably MetroLink and the Water Supply project - which are vital to supporting Dublin's growth and to maintaining quality of life for its citizens now and in the future.
Mr Gibbons said: “Dublin’s water supply is at capacity. Last summer’s drought was a stark warning of exactly how little wiggle room we really have in our supply of an essential resource. The Water Environment Abstraction Bill, needs to be enacted as soon as possible. We cannot afford for the Dublin region to run dry. We also cannot afford for the MetroLink project to be delayed. The time is now for our decision makers to take an ambitious leap in terms of the transport infrastructure needed to take our capital city to the next level.”
Dublin Chamber is the largest Chamber of Commerce in Ireland. With over 1,300 members employing 300,000 people nationally, it represents the business community of the entire Greater Dublin Area.