Timing, eh?

Mick noted previously Garret Fitzgerald’s article on missed economic opportunities, and warnings about undermining US investors’ confidence, but as the report on the Irish Times frontpage today suggests those potential investors have much more pressing concerns at home. [no subs req]

TAOISEACH BERTIE Ahern has warned of a “hard year” ahead for the Irish economy in his most downbeat assessment to date of the repercussions of the sharp economic downturn in the US. Mr Ahern said a huge range of companies in the US were facing serious problems, a situation that would have an inevitable knock-on effect on the world economy.

In a specific reference to the effects on Ireland on what many commentators say is a looming recession in the US, the Taoiseach said: “We won’t escape that. What we have to try to do is keep up the growth rates.”

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  • fair_deal

    “huge range of companies in the US were facing serious problems”

    Which makes we wonder why the hell are we targeting US (and European) companies in the investment conference in May? Its the Chinese and the oil-producing states with their ‘sovereign’ funds that have the serious investment cash.

  • kensei

    Which makes we wonder why the hell are we targeting US (and European) companies in the investment conference in May? Its the Chinese and the oil-producing states with their ‘sovereign’ funds that have the serious investment cash.

    And who are apparently only interested in buying out developed companies, form what I’ve seen so far. Is there any evidence they are prepared to put money in to build from scratch?

  • opportunity knocks?

    The economy is in for a tough time for sure but the real question for NI is what can we do to beat the market?

    Run out the old “education, infrastructure, market access” etc of course which most regions in europe play on but the question in a post-troubles NI is can we be bull headed enough to build a strong economy using whats available to us and not just spend our intellectual capital justifying a begging bowl routine to the UK and EU exchequer.

    Of course our politicians should be making those cases but the people here have to take responsibility for our own economy, be unafraid and crack on.

    In this global down turn we should be aware that there will be real opportunities.

    As an aside, i’ve been abroad and wish to return to NI. To be honest the crashing property market is a relief because I was worried the property would stagnate. Also it was causing the hoped for reversal of the brain drain to be delayed and if we do build a cutting edge economy the bubble prices would have scared off graduates from any part of the world as the banks had let it reach such a ridiculous stage.

  • joeCanuck

    only interested in buying out developed companies, form what I’ve seen so far

    Yes, Kensei, that’s where they’re at, along with natural resources.
    Like the Japanese before them, I think it’ll be a lot of years before they do foreign build. We obviously can’t compete in wages.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Like the Japanese before them, I think it’ll be a lot of years before they do foreign build.’

    Wrong . The capital surplus build up in China is enormous as the transfer of info in the internet age is proceeding at a much faster rate than was the case during Japan’s emergence.

    ‘ We obviously can’t compete in wages.’

    Not yet:) Give NI another 15 years of slow growth rate and the east asians another 10 years of double digit growth .

    Bertie has already seen the future which is why he led that huge delegation to China and India a couple of years back . Last time Paisley visited Asia was IIRC a visit to the Philipines when Marcos was in power . He apparently gave Marcos some advice on how to tackle or was it how to grow ‘terrorism ‘ ? I can’t recall !

  • fair_deal

    Plenty of companies here that would be happy of the investment.

  • Mike C

    Greenflag our DETI Minister was in India a couple of weeks ago.

  • willowfield

    The economy is in for a tough time for sure but the real question for NI is what can we do to beat the market?

    Invest massively in alternative energy solutions.

  • opportunity knocks?

    Willowfield,

    Invent and innovate with abandon in alternative energy at our uni’s, workplaces and as individuals, then seek investment when we have traveled a good bit of the road on our own steam would be a great start.

    Of course investment much welcomed at any stage but we must take responsibility individually and collectively for our economy being what we make it and expect to travel the harder parts of the road forward by our own talents.

    NI to get up and running needs to have us take responsibility rather than bemoaning lack of investment as limiting our opportunities.

  • wild turkey

    ‘Invest massively in alternative energy solutions. ‘

    Willowfield.

    umm… harness the hot air on slugger?

  • George

    Mike C,
    indeed he was, to open an Invest NI office in Mumbai no less.

    How many Northern Ireland businessmen travelled with him do you know or do they just travel exclusively on Enterprise Ireland trade delegations nowadays?

    If I was Mr. Dodds I would be more worried about the fact that Northern Ireland’s largest export market is the Irish Republic, which makes up nearly three times the amount of NI’s total Asian exports. And still it runs a trade deficit with its southern neighbour.

    I would also be looking at weaning NI off the dependance on Britain, which takes well over half of its exports.

    The Irish Republic and GB account for well over two thirds of NI’s export markets. That is unsustainable especially with both economies heading for tough patches.

    As for investment, where is Northern Irland’s equivalent to Science Foundation Ireland and how much cash have they to give out?

    Or are they going to miss this boat too?

  • picador

    “We won’t escape that. What we have to try to do is keep up the growth rates.”

    Ah the obsession with ‘growth’. Tis no wonder the earth is f**ked.

  • wallop

    Anyone else surprised that there is no comment on the UK budget on old slugger?

    No?

    Can I suggest it’s a reflection of the how myopic and sad the discourse is on slugger and in particular how uncomfortable sluggerites are stepping beyond veiled sectarianism and whataboutery.

    That’ll be real progress, when we can talk about our shared economy, a real issue and not use it as another tool to have a dig at each other.