IDA networks with finance and technology sectors at Davos

Taoiseach leads drive to showcase Ireland as location for foreign direct investment

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan. The agency met about 40 existing and prospective companies in Davos in a bid to enhance Ireland’s international profile. Photograph: Alan Betson

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan. The agency met about 40 existing and prospective companies in Davos in a bid to enhance Ireland’s international profile. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Insurance companies and representatives of the financial and technology sector were among the companies that attended events organised by the IDA last week in Davos as the Taoiseach led a drive to showcase Ireland’s position as a location for foreign direct investment.

Insurance Companies Zurich Insurance, Excel Insurance and Aon, US multinationals HP, Citi, Mastercard and Microsoft, and web companies Salesforce and Airbnb met with Irish officials during the World Economic Forum, which included a private dinner on Thursday evening.

In total, the inward investment agency met with about 40 existing and prospective companies in a bid to enhance Ireland’s international profile.

Among the companies targeted by the IDA at Davos were those in the financial services, technology and IT, and pharmaceutical sector, according to IDA chief Martin Shanahan.

Tough competition

The IDA faces tough competition from a number of other countries who use the World Economic Forum in Davos to sell their countries’ investment credentials.

Malaysia, China and Mexico were among the countries that held “country-specific” nights during the four-day event to showcase their country as an investment location.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had a strong media presence during the event, partaking in TV interviews with a number of networks including CNN and CNBC.

Some of the senior Irish figures who attended the World Economic Forum in Davos included former president Mary Robinson, the UN special envoy on climate change, who participated in a private forum alongside Virgin chief Richard Branson on Friday.

Digicel founder Denis O’Brien attended the World Economic Forum in the early part of the week.

He participated in a panel discussion with the chief executives of Ericsson, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and America Movil among others, organised by ITU, the UN agency for information and communication technologies.

Photographer

Other Irish in attendance included artist and portrait photographer Kevin Abosch and former Ibec executive Finola McDonnell, now at CNBC.

More than 2,500 people attended this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos which closed on Saturday.

World leaders who attended the event included the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, India, South Africa and New Zealand.