Enda Kenny pleased with interest shown by Qatari investment agency

Speaking in Doha, Taoiseach said agency will travel to Ireland this year

Enda Kenny is participating in an Enterprise Ireland trade mission in the Gulf region this week. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Enda Kenny is participating in an Enterprise Ireland trade mission in the Gulf region this week. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

 

A Qatari investment agency is to travel to Ireland in the coming months to examine opportunities in areas such as financial services, infrastructure and the provision of credit to small and medium sized enterprises, the Taoiseach has said.

Speaking in Doha today following talks with prime minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and the Qatar Investment Authority, Enda Kenny indicated he was hopeful that Qatari investors would consider purchasing Irish bonds in the event of a ratings upgrade.

“Part of the reason that the delegation will visit Ireland is to look at the question of infrastructure, of bond investment and of SME assistance in terms of facilities and access to credit,” he said.

His comments came after the yield on Irish 10-year bonds fell to an eight-year low during the State’s first sale of debt having exited the EU-IMF bailout.

Mr Kenny said he was very pleased with the development, which was an indication of the growth of “further confidence in Ireland” having completed the bailout programme.

The sale was “a further endorsement of the progress made by the people of Ireland, by the decisions taken by government in exiting the programme and we move on to maintain our momentum, to grow our economy and to provide jobs”.

Mr Kenny, who is participating in an Enterprise Ireland trade mission in the Gulf region this week, the prime minister had given his backing to engagement with the investment authority, a state agency.

The Taoiseach said Mr Al Thani had expressed an interest in visiting Ireland.

Mr Kenny also held a meeting with executives from Qatar Airways in the hope of encouraging the airline, which currently services some of its fleet in Dublin, would establish a direct route to the Irish capital.