Cork is on the cusp of fulfilling its potential by being a cradle of innovation, but the city and its businesses need to constantly evolve to stay ahead, says Cork Chamber president Ronan Murray.
Mr Murray said that technology and geopolitics were reshaping both the global economy and the Irish economy, and while Cork had shown its ability to adapt and succeed, entrepreneurs and businesses there needed to constantly challenge themselves and innovate.
“While foreign direct investment is so important to our country, so too are the private indigenous small, medium, and large companies that are the lifeblood of our economy,” he said. “We, therefore, need to ensure we always have the right structures in place to encourage and support these companies.
“There are hundreds of people from new and different nationalities [coming] to Cork to work in businesses here, and such diverse peoples with a wide range of experiences and skills are critical to creating Cork’s knowledge economy, while local entrepreneurs will also have a role to play.”
Mr Murray said that both University College Cork and the Munster Technological University would have important roles to play as they continue to attract the best scientists and researchers. “That cradling and nurturing of talent by our universities holds the key to unlocking the potential of the southwest region. But for innovative thinking to flourish and bloom we must ensure the right conditions, continue to be in place with access to optimal supports and new markets.
“While being part of the EU is important, our destiny is in our own hands. Working with elected representatives we must continue our focus on the delivery of high-quality high-density apartments in the city centre and docklands, as well as the electrification of our suburban rail network.
“After the successful opening of the Macroom bypass late last year we should renew our focus on the Cork to Limerick and Ringaskiddy motorways in particular. The M28 is key to our port becoming a global hub and of course to unlocking the docklands for housing development.”