Taoiseach Enda Kenny today spoke at Hewlett Packard's Liffey Park Tehnology Campus in Leixlip, County Kildare, to mark the 40th anniversary of the company's presence in Ireland.
The Taoiseach spoke of the importance of HP's investment in Ireland:
I don’t need to remind you all how important HP is to Ireland: 4,000 employees across the country choosing Ireland as your strategic centre for business excellence and customer support investing over $1billion in this Campus alone.
It will take a tremendous national effort to turn the economy around and regain our economic sovereignty.
And this Government is keen to listen and learn from people at the coalface of business as we tackle the current economic crisis.
The Taoiseach also spoke of his confidence that Ireland is still a great place to do business:
The fact is that Ireland is still great place to do business.
The recent visits by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama have reminded the World of Ireland’s strengths and what Ireland has to offer.
Our economy will return to growth this year.
We continue to attract significant levels of inward investment. IDA Ireland secured 126 investments in 2010 and its client companies created almost 11,000 new jobs.One specific area of opportunity identified by the Government is Cloud Computing. We want to make Ireland a leader in this field. As a first step, we are establishing a new €5million technology centre in Cloud Computing, which will be an industry-led effort to carry out market-focussed R&D.
We aim to build a partnership between multi-national and indigenous companies, with input from Universities and Research Agencies.
I welcome HP’s expansion of your Cloud Services Centre in Galway over the last year, and I am sure you will be at the heart of future developments.
The Taoiseach finally encouraged the business community to get involved and work with the Government to help create jobs:
As I said at the outset, we need a national effort to overcome this crisis.
The Government can only create the conditions which allow business to create jobs.
That is why I want to learn more about how Government can help you develop and grow.
I want to work directly with business to solve the problems facing the country.
For example, the Jobs Initiative includes a new National Internship Programme to provide 5,000 places for people who are unemployed.
We are looking to business to provide opportunities for young people to get some experience in the workplace.
I am delighted that Martin Murphy has agreed to chair the group overseeing this Programme and help make it a success.
You can read the Taoiseach's full speech here.