Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada was in Calgary this week, where he told a luncheon meeting of the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce (ICCC) that his country’s economy is on the comeback after several difficult years. “Part of the recovery strategy is increasing trade and tourism between Ireland and Canada”, said Ray Bassett, at the October 26 gathering at the Westin Hotel.
“Calgary and Alberta is our number one priority in Canada,” said Bassett. He noted Canada helped young people from Ireland weather the gloomy economy by opening up opportunities for employment here. Over 500,000 Albertans claim they have Irish heritage. “I think those young people who came to Canada revolutionized the Irish-Canadian relationship,” said Bassett.
As part of his trip to Calgary, Bassett and Regan met with Westjet officials, discussing the need for more direct flights to Ireland from Alberta.
The ICCC luncheon was sponsored by Vermilion Energy, which expects production to begin soon on a deep-water natural gas operation off the coast of Ireland providing up to 60% of Irelands gas needs and lessening Ireland’s dependence on English and Russian gas.
Almost 300 Irish companies do business in Canada, of which, over 50 have a local presence of some kind. There are approximately 25 Canadian companies in Ireland and about 7,000 Canadians are employed by Irish companies.
With Ireland’s economic ties to Calgary strong and growing, Bassett, announced he is looking to Laureen Regan to help maintain momentum. Regan, the head of the Boom Group which administers programs for corporations to optimize employee engagement, was appointed Ireland’s Vice-Consul Trade and Investment in Alberta. Regan, who is Irish born, also founded the Calgary chapter of the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce (ICCC).
Bassett said she was an obvious choice. “She has a proven track record here,” said Bassett. “She’s a tremendous networker, she’s a great human being and she’s very popular within the community. So it was a no-brainer.”
Regan will work with Deirdre Halferty, Ireland’s Honorary Consul responsible for boosting Irish community and cultural links.
This March here in Alberta, we find ourselves leading the country in job creation and economic growth. While this is an enviable position in many ways, the challenges this growth brings must be overcome. Through collaboration, inbound investment and hiring initatives, our growth will continue. The Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary (ICCC) has seen many companies and individuals arrive to benefit from and contribute to our province’s success.
The third Global Irish Economic Forum took place in Dublin Castle October 4-5, 2013, building on the 2009 and 2011 meetings of the Forum. Members of the Global Irish Network joined members of the Government, senior officials, presidents of universities and domestic business leaders for two days of intensive discussions. Participants were asked to consider how the Forum can make significant contributions towards Government, Irish business and the diaspora working together to deliver jobs, aiding recovery and growing exports. In total, 64 recommendations arose from the working groups across a range of themes. These innovative initiatives are currently being reviewed and implemented.
March, 2014 finds Ireland continuing with recovery. Job creation is up and, through a number of initiatives, the country continues to attract inbound investment in multiple sectors, including technology, finance, pharmaceutical and manufacturing. In addition, 2013 was a great year for Ireland’s tourism industry, attracting over 8 million people from around the world to Ireland for The Gathering.
Enterprise Ireland has also been hard at work ensuring Irish companies are enabled to succeed and compete globally. The Enterprise Ireland team has been in Calgary a number of times establishing relationships and connections for Irish and Canadian companies and we look forward to their continued involvement in the Alberta economy.
The ICCC wishes all of you a very happy St. Patrick’s Day. This is a special time for us when the world celebrates our spirit and culture.
Please enjoy this short video that truly captures and celebrates our country and the vibrant opportunities to be found in Ireland.
Click here to watch the video.
Mark Your Calendars
The ICCC, Calgary is delighted to present the Honourable Doug Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, at a luncheon on May 14, 2014 in Calgary. Details to follow shortly.
March is renewal time here at the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary. With the support of our members, we have accomplished many things over the past year with a strong focus on connecting Irish businesses with Canadian opportunities, while connecting our Canadian businesses with Irish links to assist with access to the EU. As Irish and Canadian companies look to develop business prospects in both countries, we will be continuing to provide access through information and networking to the business community.
To become a member or renew your membership, please click here, download, complete and submit the form. You may also contact us at 403-244-9017.
Thank you for your continued support.
A message from the Ambassador of Ireland to Canada:
It gives me great pleasure to wish all of you the very best this St. Patrick’s Day, and please accept my regrets for not being in your company today.
St. Patrick’s Day is that part of the year where we’re especially proud of our heritage or our native country. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on our homeland and of the numerous values that make us proud to be Irish. It also allows us to showcase these qualities to the world, and I know that you all do your part throughout the year.
As we look back in the year that has just passed, there are so many positive moments to remember; perhaps many of you took the opportunity of the Gathering 2013 to return home. Canada has seen a huge rise in tourist numbers to Ireland and we appreciate all the hard work the Irish community does to promote Ireland here. The Irish abroad have been part of our comeback story. We want you to be part of our future. We value enormously our global Irish community, and the work of the Irish abroad as advocates for Ireland – encouraging people to holiday in Ireland, to join Irish business networks, to buy Irish products, to invest or do business in Ireland, or even to become involved in Gaelic games.
Not only that, but during the month of March and especially during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, one should recognise that the Irish nation expanded its borders many years ago. It proves a testament to the welcoming nature of the Irish people that we enjoy such a wonderful rapport with the Diaspora. I’d like to thank you all for contributing to the idea of being Irish, be you Irish, of Irish descent or passionate for our beloved country.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh ar fad- The very best this St. Patrick’s Day.
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.
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.
St. Patrick’s Day Message from Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland – PDF
Sharing Calgary’s Energy with Ireland and Scotland – Blog Article
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.
GLOBAL IRISH ECONOMIC FORUM
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.
DOING BUSINESS IN IRELAND
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.
Immigration + Canada’s Growing Employment Needs with The Honorable Thomas Lukaszuk – PDF
ALREADY INTO OUR SECOND YEAR
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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