28 September 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Influential London-based business leaders attended an inaugural London Dinner, hosted by Cork Chamber of Commerce yesterday evening in the Bloomsbury Hotel, London where they discovered the unique and exciting opportunities that the Cork region offers investors and their employees.
This invitation-only event being hosted as part of the ‘Connecting Cork’ initiative, saw 150 guests, the majority of whom are London-based decision makers, with select representatives of business, local government and education from Cork, come together to discuss the opportunities that exist in the Cork region.
‘Connecting Cork’ is an initiative spearheaded by Cork Chamber, proactively working to position Cork internationally and build connections in key global cities and markets, promoting a positive message that “Cork means business”, and the London Dinner formed part of a coordinated approach to the initiative. Cork Chamber representatives, earlier this month, met key business leaders and organisations in San Francisco; while the London Dinner will be followed by a twin city trip to Shanghai, which is scheduled for November.
At the event, Barrie O’Connell, President of Cork Chamber, outlined what makes Cork a strong investment proposition and why it is already home to so many global brands – its talented and educated workforce, with strong third level education and research institutes, its strength and track record across sectors such as technology, life sciences, global business and financial services, combined with very competitively priced commercial space, access to the EU and with quality of life as a key differentiator. The event was also an important opportunity for us to learn from Cork diaspora, based in London and the UK, of the areas we need to focus to improve our overall investment offering and to better understand what they are looking for when expanding business operations internationally.
Mr O’Connell said “The aim of this event is to increase awareness of Cork with potential investors, particularly the Cork diaspora in London. It provides a platform to promote the region to major decision makers and influencers – kick start conversations and beneficial relationships which will continue long after the event. In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, Cork must be proactive in promoting the Cork region on an international stage, and where better than with our nearest neighbours in the UK? With a series of major new high-end office developments now complete and others on the way, this is the opportune time to showcase Cork as a location of choice for global investment.”
The event, in partnership with Irish International Business Network (IIBN), IDA Ireland, and Irish Funds, included an interactive panel discussion with key representatives from major multinationals – Donal Sullivan, VP, Tyco; fast growing start-ups – Peter Coppinger, CEO, Teamwork.com; and successful financial services organisations – Peter Kane, MD, Citco Fund Services; on why Cork is a great place to start up, scale up and locate a business. Joining the delegation were representatives from event sponsors, JCD Group, responsible for some of Cork City’s most ambitious and state-of-the-art developments (One Albert Quay, The Capitol and the City Gate Campuses) and Ronan Daly Jermyn, one of Ireland’s top 10 full service law firms with offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway and London and a staff of more than 230.
Mr O’Connell concluded: “Through a series of activities and events specifically focusing on connecting with our international business diaspora, Cork Chamber, through ‘Connecting Cork’, is aiming to foster new business relationships, while enhancing existing ones. Our connections and linkages with London are many and deep, with this initiative being an opportunity to promote what Cork has to offer to London and UK business as an investment location, mixed with a vibrant quality of life, which is a compelling overall offering.”