New Ibec president says Irish reputation on road to recovery


OUR ECONOMY and our reputation are on the road to recovery, and internationally there has been a noticeable turnaround in perceptions of Ireland and Irish business, according to Paul Rellis, managing director of Microsoft Ireland.

He was speaking at the annual president’s dinner of the Irish Business Employers Confederation (Ibec), where he was elected as president of the lobby group. Mr Rellis takes over from Julie O’Neill, vice-president of operations of Gilead Sciences.

Mr Rellis said: “Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft Corporation, tells us how favourably the Irish response to the economic crisis compares with other countries. He remains confident in our operations here, and committed to our history of investing in Ireland, most recently by announcing the decision to build our data centre investments in Ireland to the tune of €130 million.

“Microsoft is clearly not the only multinational to continue to select Ireland as a location of choice for investment. Our economy and our reputation are on the road to recovery but challenges remain. Many companies are poised for growth, but continue to be constrained by the wider euro zone crisis, a shortage of investment and continued global uncertainty. These issues need to be addressed.”

He told the audience that the ECB bond-buying plan announced last week had been well received and investors were looking for new opportunities, while consumer sentiment was starting to improve and we were seeing net job-creation in the private sector.

He said the most important thing the Government could do was to ensure it does not add to the cost of employment.