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  • October 25, 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    It has been a busy September and October for the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary, and I wanted to bring you all up to speed on what has been going on.

    The Business Gathering

    On September 27th, the Canadian Chambers, in tandem with the Ireland Canada Business Association in Dublin, hosted a one day forum at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.

    The event took place to further develop and strengthen the growing bilateral trade opportunities between our countries. Canada and Ireland enjoy a historic relationship in trade. Canada receives one quarter of Irish investment abroad. Over 60 Irish companies employ close to 6,000 people in Canada. Irish exports to Canada have been steadily increasing and last year saw a 24% increase year-to-year.

    The event was an overwhelming success. More than 40 attendees travelled to Ireland from Canada and were joined at the Dublin event by another 150 attendees from business and government.

    Our group was welcomed with an address from the Hon. Loyola Hern, Ambassador of Canada to Ireland. Our key note speaker was the Hon. John Manley, former Deputy PM of Canada and now the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). He spoke on a variety of economic development opportunities in Canada paying particular attention to our energy sector.

    In addition to Mr. Manley, we were thrilled to be joined and addressed on the day by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Oisin Quinn, and the Irish Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D. and Danny McCoy the CEO of Ireland’s Business and Employers.

    Attendees had opportunities throughout the day to network and forge the connections that will help them do business both in Ireland and in Canada.

    A special thanks to Cormac Monahan, Malachy Smith and the organizing committee in Canada and Ireland which spent over eight months organizing all of the critical details that ensured the event was a success.

    In my capacity as President of the ICCC, I used every networking opportunity to talk about Alberta, and the great potential for expanding trade growth between our jurisdictions.

    Watch for details of the Canadian Gathering to be held in 2015.

    Global Economic Forum

    October 4 and 5th, I had the good fortune of attending the third Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin Castle, which brought together 260 leading Irish and Irish-connected figures from around the world to focus on economic growth and job creation.

    Through plenary sessions, working groups and panel discussions, the Forum focused on four areas:

    • Overcoming the challenges facing the domestic economy and tackling youth employment;
    • Financial services and public financing;
    • Technology; and
    • Education – focussing on internationalization and alumni engagement.

    Innovative ideas and practical solutions, on various initiatives, were presented through the eighteen working groups. As well, Forum participants had the opportunity to engage with indigenous companies and the wider public. At the end of the two days, all initiatives were presented to the Government for consideration.

    I was also invited to participate in the Forum’s Regional Roundtable Event in Cork held at the University of Cork’s beautiful and historic campus. The local business community and Enterprise Ireland both participated. There was also a group of young future entrepreneurs asking many questions of the panel on how they can start and grow their businesses locally and abroad.

    I will update you further as more details emerge as to how the information gathered from the Forum will be used.

    Message from Ambassador Bassett

    The CETA Agreement is terrific news both for Europe and Canada and especially for the people of Ireland. As Canada’s eastern neighbour and the EU country closest geographically to Canada, Ireland has a major stake in promoting greater trade and investment between the European Union and Canada. We, in Ireland, have such historic, ethnic, linguistic and commercial interest in Canada.

    On our side in the Embassy, we have worked hard over the last four years with our European and Canadian colleagues to achieve this agreement which, it has been postulated, will increase trade by many billions and could lead to up to 80,000 new jobs in Canada. Ireland expects to increase our exports to Canada by $250m per annum which, in turn, will lead to more sustainable employment in Ireland. In future, 98% of all goods will be tariff free between the EU and Canada.

    The Governments have now put in place the free trade framework and it is now up to commercial concerns to seize the opportunity that CETA presents. The Chapters of the Ireland Canada Chambers of Commerce have a special role to play in ensuring that this opportunity, and the potential it represents, is fully realised by promoting the terms of the agreement.

    I am personally very satisfied that this day has arrived and that the 28 countries of the European Union, representing 500 million consumers, have entered into this historic deal with Canada.

    If you require additional information on any of the above, please contact
    Laureen Regan at 403-244-9017.

  • July 04, 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    It is with great sadness I note and grieve the passing of Cameron Millikin, Honorary Consul General, Ireland. Mr Millikin was a great friend to me, a great friend to Irish-Canadian relations, and a great friend and supporter of the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary.

    He was always quick to offer feedback and support, and his counsel immeasurably helped to make the ICCC a reality. His contacts to the Calgary business community were unrivalled, and he never hesitated to help companies looking to establish a foothold in Alberta. He made conversation an art form, and he was a dear man who was generous with his knowledge and his experience. He never forgot a name, and he always found a way to make a personal connection with whoever he was speaking to.

    We will miss him very much.

    To the Millikin Family, who meant so much to Cameron, our sincere sympathies during this very sad time.

    Laureen Regan

  • March 23, 2012 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    On February 23, at the Westin Calgary, The Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary was pleased to welcome His Excellency, Ray Bassett and the Honourable Jason Kenny for a luncheon presentation and discussion entitled: “Immigration and citizenship and how it supports the business community and the requirements of our economy.”

    His Excellency, Ray Bassett

    Honourable Jason Kenny

    His Excellency, Ray Bassett; Laureen Regan, President of Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce; Deirdre Halferty, President of the Irish Cultural Society (ICS); and ICS members

    As our workforce requirements continue to grow along with our strong economy, Canada is looking for a strong, educated workforce. The Ambassador and the Minister both spoke on the strong history between our two countries and the opportunity to work together to benefit us all.

    The Minister also added that employers must be active in thinking about recruiting outside of the Canadian market where needed, while the Canadian government needs to have a flexible immigration system.

    The luncheon was attended by over one hundred guests representing businesses in the resource, manufacturing, electricity, professional services, health care and agricultural sectors.

    The Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary, works to strengthen relationships between Canadian and Irish business opening up opportunities.

  • November 11, 2011 8:00 AM | Anonymous


    Ireland faces great challenges in building back its economy. However, both in Ireland and abroad, a clear commitment exists to working proactively and collaboratively to find solutions that will not only enable economic recovery, but will also, in the words of Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore “build a better society.”

    In keeping with this focus and commitment, the Irish Government brought together business people of Irish descent from around the globe. The Forum brought together 270 Irish Diaspora from 37 different countries to work towards Ireland’s economic recovery. The Forum not only provided a number of significant initiatives focussed on the restoration of Ireland’s international reputation, but also, further cemented the relationship between Ireland and the Diaspora.

    The President of the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary, Laureen Regan, was invited as one of a handful of Canadian business owners to attend the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin, October 7-8, 2011 www.globalirishforum.ie

    Laureen participated in the first panel of the forum – “Ireland’s Image Abroad: Communicating the Message” – moderated by CNN anchor, Fionnuala Sweeney. Other participants included Eamon Gilmore, TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland; Noel Curran, Director General, RTE; James Hogan, CEO, Etihad Airlines, UAE; Adrian Jones, Managing Director, Principal Investment Area, Goldman Sachs & Co, USA; and John McColgan, Producer and Director, River Productions Ltd., Ireland. Click here to visit the forum webpage and watch the video of the panel.

    In addition, Laureen was also interviewed by RTE – click here . The Irish abroad have many opportunities to work with Ireland to build the economy and their businesses both here and in Ireland. The ICCC is focussed on finding those opportunities to bring our membership together in a way that will facilitate these relationships.


    With our strong ties to Ireland, from cultural, two-way tourism, bilateral trade and EU trade agreement negotiations, there are many reasons for doing business with Ireland.

    Ireland is a key global centre for international business:

    1st for FDI and corporate tax regime
    1st in Eurozone ranking of best countries for business
    1st in Europe for R&D investment competitiveness
    1st for most highly employable graduates & investment incentives
    5th largest destination for Canadian FDI
    Canadian investment in Ireland almost 1.5 time that of Canada’s total investment in BRIC
    For your interest, PwC has provided us with information on ‘Irish opportunities for Canadian MNCs’. Please click here for additional information..


    Collaboration guarantees success. This principle guides the philosophy and practice of the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary, which reflects the Irish dimension of the Calgary business community.

    Established in 2009, the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary works to strengthen relationships between Canadian and Irish businesses, opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs and small to large business enterprises across sectors.

    The Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary enjoys many local, regional and international connections and has close ties to the Canadian and Irish embassies as well as to government agencies and business associations in Canada and abroad.

  • May 04, 2011 8:00 AM | Anonymous


    A year has passed and the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce Calgary is thriving thanks to its committed membership, Board of Directors, and volunteers whose hard work and initiative have made it possible for our fledging organization to accomplish so much as part of a national network of influence for Irish and Canadian business partnerships.

    We thank all our members, Board of Directors, and volunteers for their support. We also extend our thanks to those organizations that have lent us their support and helped spread the word about our organization, among them the national group of Irish Chambers of Commerce in Canada; the Irish Embassy; Enterprise Ireland; IDA Ireland; Ireland-Canada Business Association; International Fund for Ireland; Tourism Ireland; the Irish Cultural Society of Calgary; Global Business Centre; and The Celtic Connection.

    Finally, our deepest appreciation goes to Gerard Curran who so generously donated his time to our organization as its President and who also hosted our inaugural event at his business venue, The James Joyce Pub, Calgary. Pressures of time and work commitments mean that Gerard can no longer continue to serve as President. We thank him for getting us off to such a great start and wish him well in all his current and future business endeavours. We also congratulate Laureen Regan on assuming the role of President and wish her every success during her tenure.


    Strong economic ties exist between Ireland and Canada and are proving a benefit to both countries in the midst of the current global recession that has hit Ireland particularly hard. It is our privilege as an organization to be able to reinforce these economic ties through the business-focused events that we hold throughout the year. These events are designed to improve awareness of the larger opportunities that exist for business partnerships between Ireland and Canada and to increase networking opportunities for our members.

    We are committed to adding value to our members and to the business communities of which they are a part. We are also proud to be part of a growing network of influence nationally and internationally that will further benefit our membership.

    To renew your membership or to become a member and gain access to the exceptional networking opportunities that the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce Calgary provides, please contact Laureen Regan at 403.244.9017 or lregan@iccccal.com.

  • January 01, 2011 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    ICBA Inaugural International Summit, Toronto

    In the interests of learning more about existing and potential Ireland-Canada business opportunities, and to further develop strong networking opportunities for our membership, Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce Calgary President, Laureen Regan, attended the Ireland Canada Business Association (ICBA) Inaugural International Summit held at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre, Toronto, on March 10, 2011.

    In preparation for the summit, the ICBA delegation attended meetings with government and industry in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto to raise awareness and profile trade opportunities as well as to encourage stronger business connections between Ireland and Canada. Key figures in the Irish and Canadian business and government sectors attended the summit meetings, including Canadian Minister of Finance, the Honorable Jim Flaherty; the Irish Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Ray Bassett; the Irish Deputy Minister of Finance, Michael Horgan; and representatives of the national group of Irish Chambers of Commerce in Canada, among others.

    A pre-summit meeting between all Canadian Chambers of Commerce that were able to attend led to the review of the ireland-canada.ca website linking all chambers and a review of the website, irishjobs.ca, with the aim of further developing the site into a comprehensive national resource for all chambers.

    At the summit, speeches and panel discussions further explored Ireland and Canada’s economic ties and potential. In addition, there was a strong focus on encouraging the major airlines to offer direct air links between the two countries.

    Ireland Distilled

    Our March 3, 2011, whiskey tasting event provided a unique networking opportunity for our membership and their guests who gathered at the Global Business Centre in Calgary to enjoy a whiskey presentation by Andy Dunn and to sample four award-winning Irish whiskies from Ireland’s Cooley Distillery.

    A New Irish Ambassador to Canada

    This year we held a number of key events, among them a business luncheon in November 2010 at Calgary’s Westin Hotel to welcome the new Irish Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Ray Bassett.

    In a vigorous and detailed talk, Ambassador Bassett reflected on the opportunities for both Canada and Ireland in continuing to build strong trade relationships. Mr. Jim Prentice, former Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre North, introduced the Ambassador. Newly elected Mayor Naheed Nenshi was among the audience of 90 some Calgarian’s from the finance, energy and business communities who attended this event.

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