The IFSC Clearing House Group has a critical role to play in bringing together high level representatives from the public and private sectors to debate and address issues facing the competiveness of the international financial services industry. It is chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach. That Department also services the meetings and publishes the minutes of these meetings on its website.
The Secretary General of my Department and senior representatives of the IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland – both of whom have a role in promoting the sector in the international arena - are among the public sector representatives on the Group. Their key objective is to ensure our industrial promotional policies and activities assist in maximising the employment creation potential of this growing international sector.
Given its critical role and the dynamic environment in which this sector operates, the Department of the Taoiseach recently invited a small public/private sector team to discussions about the workings of the Clearing House Group and to examine how best to maximise the potential of the sector. The Secretary General of my Department and the CEO of IDA Ireland are among the public sector members of this team, which I understand is to have its first meeting shortly.
With some 33,000 jobs, the international financial services sector is already a significant employer in Ireland. The 5 year Strategy for the sector launched by the Taoiseach in 2011, targeted an increase of 10,000 jobs in IFSC companies by 2016. The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 reaffirms Government’s commitment to this objective. Good progress has been made already with more than 65 new investments over the period January 2011 to date in 2013 with associated employment potential (gross jobs) of approximately 6,000.
These investments are significant achievements in view of the global crisis that has impacted the industry over the last two years and highlight Ireland’s on-going attractiveness for investment and the Government’s on-going commitment to the development of the sector.