The world and its mother knows that US investment into Ireland has been not just a boon for the domestic economy and tens of thousands of grateful employees and communities in the past 50 years — but Ireland has shown its close business ally that the relationship works both ways.
It may come as a surprise to many just how Ireland punches well above its size and weight class when it comes to investing in business in the US.
Irish businesses are creating thousands of jobs for Americans as well as Irish people in the US, and it is being gratefully received in the current administration.
Ireland is the ninth largest foreign direct investor into the US, according to acting US ambassador to Ireland, Reece Smyth.
“Enterprise Ireland statistics show 80,000 jobs were created by Irish companies in 2017 in the US. In 2018 they’re talking about 100,000. That is huge. What is changing is the investment into Ireland from the US is now becoming a two-way street. It is to the mutual benefit of both countries,” he said.
The US wants more of that investment because the countries are simpatico and work so well together, the chargé d’affaires said.
Ambassador welcomes Irish growth in US market
Mr Smyth has said the embassy was working with Enterprise Ireland to bring more inward Irish investment to the US following record years in 2017 and 2018.
It is not just the traditional Irish outposts of Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco that are open for Irish business, he said.
“When people are looking at the US, a lot of focus is on maybe Boston or Chicago. However, we have a vast country, there are a lot of opportunities out there. We have set up an office in the embassy which is working closely with Enterprise Ireland and what we can offer large and small firms to carry out business in the US. We can help wade through some of the state regulations, make contacts, and more.”
Chief executive of Texan cybersecurity firm Forcepoint, which opened a Cork office with 100 jobs last year, said states like Texas, Wisconsin, and Iowa had huge opportunities for Irish business, especially in tech.
Matt Moynahan said: “You are seeing the US change. We now have Silicon Alley in New York, every state is trying to expand, particularly with cloud.”
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