British Irish Chamber proposes establisment of Silicon Valley ‘ambassador’ role

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28 September 2017

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has called for the Government to turn Brexit into an opportunity for Ireland’s tech sector by appointing a ‘technology ambassador’ to represent the sector in Silicon Valley.

In a new ICT policy paper published today, the Chamber’s ICT Committee noted the need for Ireland to win the war for talent, drive entrepreneurism, incentivise investment, and support the sector’s growth capacity.

The paper also recommends a reduction in the marginal rate of personal taxation and Capital Gains Tax for entrepreneurs engaged in innovation activities; an increase the investment limit of the Start-up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) from €100,000 to €250,000; and the establishment of a National ICT Hub to be the nerve centre for the Irish ICT ecosystem.

“As the Digital Hub of Europe, Ireland is well placed to maximise the limited benefits resulting from the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. The Chamber is promoting Ireland as the next best option for UK firms that need unfettered access to the EU’s Single Market, in particular within the fintech sector,” said John McGrane, Director-General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.

“However, the ability to attract suitably skilled employees to Ireland is proving to be a significant challenge. If we are to win this ‘war for talent’, the high tax burden on employees and firms relocating to Ireland must be urgently addressed.”

Pat Flood, Chair of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce ICT Committee, added: “Given the ICT sector in Ireland is global by its very nature, we must be global in our approach.

“Therefore, we would call on the Government to consider creating a ‘technology ambassador’ to focus on and represent the Irish tech sector in Silicon Valley and establish a new National ICT Hub centred in Dublin with satellite hubs in the south, west, northwest and the midlands.”

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