Taoiseach and Noonan to meet key international figures at Davos

Summit an opportunity ‘to drive investment to Ireland’, says Minister

The Government has cast their attendance at the 44th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos as an opportunity to promote Ireland as a major location for international business and investment. Photograph: Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA

The Government has cast their attendance at the 44th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos as an opportunity to promote Ireland as a major location for international business and investment. Photograph: Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA

Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 01:00

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan will conduct scheduled meetings at the Davos forum with US treasury secretary Jacob Lew and an assortment of other international figures.

The Government has cast their attendance at the World Economic Forum as an opportunity to promote Ireland as a major location for international business and investment.

Mr Kenny will meet James Cowles, chief of Citigroup’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will also meet Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and writer of a best-selling book on women in the workplace.

The Taoiseach will have further meetings with Bryan Lamkin, senior vice-president of technology and corporate development at Adobe, and Burke Norton, executive vice-president of Salesforce.

Tomorrow evening in Davos, both Mr Kenny and Mr Noonan will participate in an IDA Ireland event.

Although the Government said the Taoiseach will underline the investment case for Ireland at Davos, business leaders have used the event in the past to raise their own concerns with Mr Kenny.

It was at last year’s forum that businessman Paul Walsh, then chief of drinks company Diageo, raised his concerns directly with the Taoiseach about a plan to ban alcohol sponsorship of major sporting events. The plan was later dropped due to anxiety about the loss of funding for sports organisations.

At the event this week, the Taoiseach will also take part in an open forum with Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and European Commission president José Manuel Barroso. A total of more than 30 heads of state and government are set to attend the event.

Mr Noonan’s engagements include meetings with Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Swiss finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.

“We must take full advantage of every opportunity to drive investment to Ireland. Davos is a great opportunity and platform to promote Ireland as a world-class destination for investment,” said Mr Noonan.