Provost speaks at First Business Roundtable with the Government of Ireland

Posted on: 03 November 2008

The Provost, Dr John Hegarty, was a speaker at the Economist Conference’s First Business Roundtable with the Government of Ireland on 30 October last. Opened by the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, the Roundtable’s theme was ‘The Irish economy: real strengths and new challenges’.

Over 100 senior executives from multinational corporations and Irish companies attended this inaugural event. Chaired by Dan O’Brien, Senior Editor/Economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Roundtable discussions aimed to produce ideas and clarity on how Ireland’s economy can accelerate and continue to grow well.

Issues that were discussed include:

– How can the government enhance the country’s competitiveness and attract foreign investment?
– Can Ireland contain its rising budget deficits and how relevant are the strictures of the Stability and Growth Pact?
– Is Ireland losing out to India as the preferred option for business process outsourcing?
– How will the country’s environmental sustainability policies affect competitiveness?
– Can Ireland learn from other countries on public services reform and implementation of capital investment programmes?

The proceedings were moderated by experts from The Economist Group, who also presented their view of the market and forecast for Ireland.  Other speakers included: Mary Coughlan, Tánaiste  and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Brian Lenihan, Minister for Finance, Eamon Ryan, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Paul Caroll, Managing Partner of A&L Goodbody, John Herlihy, Vice-President Online Sales and Operations, Google, Larry Hirst, Chairman, IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa, Terence O’Rourke, Managing Partner of KPMG, and Tony Keohane, Chief Executive Officer, Tesco Ireland.