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ICBA Newsletter – May/June 2019

Dear ICBA members and friends,

As incoming Chairperson of the ICBA, I'd like to first thank Garrett Monaghan for his service as Chairperson over the past four years.  We have made great strides as an organization under his leadership.

During this period, and through the hard work of our Executive Director Kate Hickey and the Chair of our Membership Committee Dan O'Donnell, the ICBA has more than doubled its membership.  There is no question that the ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and Europe has provided an impetus for ICBA's growth as companies in both countries were looking to new trade markets as a result of Brexit and NAFTA (now USMCA) renegotiations.  However, it took a strong ICBA team to convert that interest into new members.

In addition, during Garrett's tenure, we have hosted two very successful business summits in Dublin, led two trade missions to Canada and held countless trade briefings, networking and social events. We have also increased our communications internally, through the creation of this newsletter, and externally, having revamped the website, created a twitter account and a Linked-in page, not to mention countless hits in traditional Irish media.

As a result, the ICBA has improved its ability to be heard by decision makers on key issues facing our members.   For example, following an ICBA advocacy effort, it was announced that the IDA would open an office in Toronto.  Finally, we recently updated the organization’s constitution from 1978 to modernize its operations and ensure compliance with the Companies Act 2014.

Moving forward, we will continue to build on this strong foundation to increase membership in the ICBA by continuing to demonstrate value through our communication and advocacy efforts, business events and social functions.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Joanne McEnteggart from IQEQ (formerly First Names Group) to the Board of the ICBA replacing myself as Vice-Chair.  Joanne has shown a real commitment to the ICBA and will no doubt help us drive the ICBA agenda into the future.

Thank you

Chris Collenette

Chris Collenette, Chairperson


ICBA Business Mission to Canada - May 2019

Trade Mission ICBA 2019

Trade Mission ICBA 2019
Trade Mission ICBA 2019

 

Trade Mission ICBA 2019
Trade Mission ICBA 2019

 

A delegation of the Ireland Canada Business association (ICBA) recently returned from a high-level business mission to Canada. Ireland and Canada already enjoy close bilateral business connections and the purpose of the ICBA mission was to further strengthen those ties and capitalise on the opportunities that Brexit, CETA, and NAFTA renegotiations present.

The mission was organised in co-operation with the Ireland Canada Chambers of Commerce in Toronto and Montreal, and the delegation was accompanied by Ambassador Jim Kelly and Deputy Head of Mission, Michael Hurley. Meetings were held with:

  • The Attorney General of Ontario, Minister Caroline Mulroney.
  • Mr. Goldy  Hyder, CEO Business Council of Canada
  • Former Deputy Prime Minister  John Manley, Chair CIBC.
  • Business Council of Canada
  • Toronto Finance International
  • Ontario Ministry for Economic Development
  • Invest Quebec
  • Toronto Board of Trade
  • Montreal International
  • Irish Park Foundation
  • Public Sector Investment Board

The mission revealed that Canada’s business and political leaders firmly believe in the vast potential of the Canada / Ireland relationship, and, with further efforts on a governmental level, there are numerous opportunities to further strength the economic, cultural and political relationships between our two nations.


Jackie Gilna, President, ICCCOTT

IN PROFILE: Jackie Gilna - President, ICCCOTT

In the second of our series of Ireland Canada Chamber profiles, we catch up with Jackie Gilna, President of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce Ottawa.

Jackie talks about doing business in the city and region, top tips for success, and the Galway man that she is proud to call an ICCCOTT member.

You can read it HERE.

 

 


ICBA - MAKING HEADLINES

Banning Offshore Drilling Ireland Irish Examiner

The ICBA recently warned about the consequences of banning offshore gas and oil exploration in Ireland. The Irish Examiner (read here)  and RTE News (read here) carried the story.

Kate Hickey, Executive Director of the Ireland Canada Business Association outlined the ICBA's position:

"The ICBA and its members fully support Ireland’s move to a lower carbon economy, but it will take time. Oil and particularly gas are an essential part of the transition and we believe that is far preferable to source oil and gas through Ireland’s indigenous sources.

Canada and Ireland have close links in the resource sector through the likes of the North Atlantic Petroleum Systems Assessment (NAPSA) agreement, re-signed in 2018. The Petroleum Sector is a strong contributor to the Canadian economy and even as we transition to a low-carbon economy, developing our indigenous energy supplies can bring jobs to rural Ireland (as the sector has done in Canada in places such as Alberta and Newfoundland), inward investment from multinational companies, and a level of energy-security that we currently do not enjoy.

We welcome Minister Richard Bruton’s rejection, ruling out an immediate banning of fossil fuel exploration in Ireland, and we ask that the government continue to consider further the longer-term impact of this Bill.  We ask other political parties to consider the challenges that lie ahead for Ireland in terms of securing its own energy supply and the effect that energy security has on inward investment."


ICBA Inaugural Quiz Winners 2019

Congratulations to the winners of ICBA Inaugural Quiz on 27th June in Clontarf Castle. Top prize went to ISC/Enterprise Registry Solutions captained by Laurel Garven!

 


Do you know your Ireland - Canada history?

Robert G. Kearns, Ireland Park Foundation

What do Toronto’s healthcare system, the Home Rule movement, and Ireland’s departure from the Commonwealth have in common? They're all part of the fascinating shared history between Ireland and Canada. Thanks to Robert G Kearns of the Ireland Park Foundation for putting together a great article for the ICBA - you can read it HERE.


Mark O’Neill, CEO, Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa, and Robert Kearns, Chairman and Founder, Ireland Park Foundation, Toronto, will be special guests at the Thomas D'Arcy McGee Summer School next month. More information can be found HERE.  


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

4th September 2019 - ICBA AGM. Canadian Embassy Residence, Dublin.
18th October 2019- Annual Maple Leaf Dinner.
November 2019 -  Ireland Canada Trade Briefing (date and venue tbc)

A welcome from ICBA Chair, Chris Collenette

As the Chairperson of the Ireland Canada Business Association (ICBA), I am pleased to welcome you to this website.  Since 1978, the ICBA has been the voice of Canadian companies with operations in Ireland and Irish companies exporting to Canada.  The mission of the ICBA is to Connect, Communicate and Influence Irish-Canadian stakeholders on behalf of our membership, which has now grown to over 100 companies.

Strong Links

Canada and Ireland share a strong links dating back to the famine – indeed over 13% of Canadians claim Irish ancestry.  Today those links continue to be underpinned by Irish and Canadian transatlantic businesses creating jobs, growth and prosperity.  In recent years the two nations have forged even strong economic links, with visits by Prime Minister Trudeau to Ireland and by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to Canada,  as well as countless ministerial visits and trade missions from both countries.

There is also a close relationship between Canada and Ireland’s Ministers of Finance, since both countries are part of the same representative constituency at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).   In fact, Canada represented Ireland during the IMF bailout negotiations, with Canada’s Finance Minister at the time, Jim Flaherty, credited with achieving favourable terms for Ireland.

With modern economies, a liberalized trade approach, and progressive values, both Ireland and Canada are indeed two ‘signpost’ countries for the future.  The ICBA will continue to work hard to foster this relationship on behalf of our members.

Recipient of FDI

Canada is very quickly becoming one of the most significant FDI influences in Ireland, with over 75 operational companies here employing some 13,000 workers.  Ireland is the 15th largest recipient of Canadian FDI globally.   Our members welcomed the opening of an IDA office in Toronto and the decision by the Department of Foreign Affairs to open a new consulate in Vancouver, providing an Irish footprint in Canada in three major urban areas across the country.

Brexit

Due to the uncertainties being caused by Brexit, and the opportunities created by CETA, investment in Europe through Ireland is becoming the preferred option for many Canadian companies as well as existing Canadian companies already in the UK.

Ireland’s role and offering to Canadian and international companies as a gateway to the EU single market remains unparalleled.  Ireland’s hard won and well-established reputation for winning and maintaining foreign direct investment is critically important in the coming months as Brexit becomes a reality.

Increased Trade

The strong trade relationship between Ireland and Canada is reflected in the estimated €2.75 billion of annual trade between Ireland and Canada. This includes fast-growing exports by innovative Irish companies to Canada and major Canadian investments in Ireland.  In recent years, Enterprise Ireland client company exports to Canada grew by 7.3% to 282 million Euros, or in excess of 425 million Canadian dollars.  Canada is the destination for $6.3 billion of Ireland’s foreign direct investment abroad.  In addition, bilateral merchandise trade between Ireland and Canada is growing steadily and reached a value of CAD $2.23bn in 2015.  In 2016, Canada imported $1,934,344,594 CAD worth of Irish goods.

High Profile Investments

In recent years the investments between the countries have been both large and small and span many sectors: whether it be the  Great West Life acquisition of Irish Life for €1.3bn, €450m acquisition of Topaz by Couche-Tard; the acquisition of Whitegate refinery by Irving Oil; the purchase by Nexen of four licences for gas exploration as in Ireland’s southern Porcupine Basin; the  €41m acquisition of All Seasons Mushrooms Mushroom Co by Fyffes; the €5.5m investment by Canadian firm Mark Anthony Brands in the Glendalough Distillery; or the establishment of Canadian firm Shopify in Galway. The story continues with the acquisition of BPO Voxpro by TELUS, both Press Reader and Teknicor opening up international headquarters in Dublin,  the Greystone purchase of a majority stake in the Ballycadden Wind Farm; the acquisition of Dublin-based Brown Bag Films by 9 Story Media Group; the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) purchase of Shell’s 45% stake in Corrib Natural Gas Field for €830m or Brookfield takes major stake in Imagine Communications.

The Comprehensive Economic Free Trade Agreement (CETA)

As Canada’s nearest neighbour to the EU, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe presents Ireland with substantial opportunity to take the initiative in working with Canadian, international and domestic companies on significantly liberalised cross Atlantic trade. While indigenous Irish company exports to Canada have grown by over 250% in the last five years, it has been predicted that CETA will result in a €250m increase in Irish exports per annum.

As a result of CETA, Canada will be one of the only developed countries in the world with guaranteed preferential access to the marketplace of almost one billion consumers in NAFTA and the EU. This represents over half the world’s output of goods and services.

Ireland, with its common law system, business friendly government, highly educated workforce, competitive 12.5% corporate tax and the OECD-approved 6.25% Knowledge Box tax for IP profits, is an ideal location for Canadian firms looking to establish operations in Europe as a result of CETA.

The Ireland Canada Business Association is proud of the work of our members and believe that a strong business community is the bedrock for a successful society. The ICBA remains committed to assisting them their bilateral investment and trade between Canada and Ireland and will build on the work accomplished over the last 40 years to promote member views and protect their transatlantic businesses.

Chris Collenette

Chris Collenette
Philip Lee Solicitors

The fascinating shared histories of Ireland and Canada

Robert G. Kearns, Chair and Founder of Ireland Park Foundation

Ireland Park Foundation    Robert G. Kearns, Ireland Park Foundation

Ireland Park Foundation (IPF) is an arts, culture and heritage organization, dedicated to commemorating and celebrating the story of the Irish in Canada. We believe that through these lenses, the people of Canada and Ireland can enrich the mutual understanding of their interconnected identities. IPF promotes artistic connectivity, engages in original academic research, and hosts public art and cultural events to help build a stronger sense of community between Ireland and Canada.

Ireland Park Foundation takes a multidisciplinary approach to celebrating and commemorating the story of the Irish in Canada. Through public parks we commemorate, through theatre and film we relate, through music we inspire, through history we discover and through migrant stories we reveal.

The histories of Ireland and Canada are closely intertwined in so many ways, here are 6 of the most significant:

1. Migration of Irish during the Famine to Toronto and Canada as a whole

During the years of the famine in Ireland, many migrants made their way by boat to various points in eastern Canada, particularly Grosse île, Montreal, Kingston and Toronto. In 1847, the worst year of the famine, 38,586 Irish migrants descended upon the Toronto Harbour. While many migrants moved out of the city in the months and years to come, Toronto has a rich Irish influence, visible in its public figures, architecture and place names. Today, in the Province of Ontario alone, around 16.5% of the population claims Irish ancestry.

2. Irish migration fundamentally changed how Toronto’s healthcare system was run.

Many of the Irish migrants who arrived in Toronto during 1847 were inflicted with typhus, with 1,186 perishing that year alone. A Toronto doctor named Dr. George Robert Grasett was appointed Chief Attending Surgeon of the Emigrant Hospital in June of 1847, where most of the typhus-stricken Irish were treated. Dr. Grasett, along with 11 other medical professionals, gave their lives while tending to the migrants. To this day, Irish Famine migration to Canada is the largest health crises in Canadian history and fundamentally shaped this country’s celebrated public healthcare infrastructure.

3. Canada’s role in Ireland’s Home Rule movement.

While Canada did not have a direct role in Ireland’s Home Rule movement, it was a supporter of it, having received its own ‘Home Rule’ though Confederation in 1867. However, Mr. Edward Blake, one of only three Canadian Liberal Party leaders never to become Prime Minister of Canada, joined the British House of Commons to support Ireland’s Home Rule movement. Blake’s parents emigrated from Ireland before he was born and in 1892, he resigned his position as leader of the Liberal Party and moved to Ireland with his family. He was elected as an Irish Parliamentary Party Member of Parliament in 1892, for South Longford.

4. Ireland announced its departure from the Commonwealth in Canada
In 1948, at a dinner at the Governor General’s residence in Ottawa, Taoiseach John A. Costello allegedly declared that Ireland was leaving the Commonwealth. Popular legend claims the Taoiseach, offended at having been placed across the table from a replica of the cannon, ‘Roaring Meg’, declared Ireland a republic. The reality was that Ireland had for some time been in talks with the British Government regarding the External Relations Act, which Britain passed, and Ireland wished to repeal. During his visit, Costello arranged for a toast to the President of Ireland in exchange for a toast to King George VI. Governor General Lord Alexander reneged on the toast to President of Ireland and, at a press conference the following day, Costello announced that Ireland would repeal the External Relations Act, which led to the declaration of the Republic of Ireland.

5. Dublin and Belfast were major influences for Toronto’s architecture.
Toronto’s built heritage reflects both the multiple waves and constant streams of Irish migrants, particularly in the mid-to-late 19th and early 20thcenturies. Many Irish architects, builders, engineers and cultural leaders came to Canada during these years and helped to shape the city we see today. In the mid-to-late 1800s, Dublin’s Georgian architecture came to define much of the residential neighbourhood architecture, as well as that of major buildings, such as Union Station, Toronto’s main train station. In the 20th century, Toronto was largely influenced by Belfast’s industrial architecture, visible in areas such as the Distillery District and Liberty Village.

6. Canada’s role in securing better IMF bailout terms.
Canada represents Ireland at the IMF and World Bank, and Ireland is the only European country that Canada represents at both. Canada was a strong supporter of Ireland’s bailout terms and former Canadian Finance Minister, the late Honourable Jim Flaherty, was recognized as a strong supporter of the eventual favourable terms given to Ireland. (For the full story see the Sunday Independent’s article)

IPF has embarked on many exciting projects and programs over the past year. In August of 2018, Grasett Park was opened to the public, with its granite installation. We await the final piece of the park—the glass elements—which will be installed in 2020. On March 17th of this year, we signed the lease for 3 Eireann Quay, the former Administrative Office building of the Canada Malting Company, situated between Billy Bishop City Airport and Ireland Park on Toronto’s waterfront. IPF looks forward to converting this space into a permanent arts, culture, and heritage event and presentation space.

In Profile: Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce Ottawa

Ireland-Canada Chambers of Commerce Ottawa Jackie Gilna Ottawa

For the second in our series of ICCC profiles, we catch up with Jackie Gilna, President of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce Ottawa

Describe ICCCOTT and what its all about…

In cooperation with the Irish and Canadian business community, ICCCOTT established in 2010 promotes and supports programs that focus on trade and investment including sports, culture, and education as they relate to economic growth. We provide networking opportunities for members by organizing events with high profile speakers.  Additionally, we support the business community representing member’s business views before the Irish and Canadian governments in Dublin and Ottawa.

We are committed to resourcefully connecting people and helping foster relationships to further business opportunities and help deepen economic ties between our two countries.

Please describe one of ICCCOTT’s members

We are fortunate to have one of Canada’s most decorated Irish entrepreneurs and leader in our community, businessman Pat Kelly (Galway), Director Community Affairs ICCCOTT. Pat is a recipient of the inaugural Presidential Distinguished Service Award 2012, and founder of the Gales. His success with the Heart and Crown group, construction group Bradley-Kelly and many other business interests is an example to all that hard work, focus, drive, and ambition drive results.

From the beginning of his journey in Canada Pat helped so many who came to Ottawa with a roof over their head, a job to get them started and introductions to help create their opportunities. He is a true example to all. It is often said the Irish abroad do not support each other in business. Not Pat Kelly, he set the bar and leads by example!

What originally brought you to Ottawa?

I spent many of my adult years in the Netherlands. Before leaving I was involved in the Dutch Oil &Gas, Aviation, Marine and Fire Fighting training sector as Managing Director and sat as Director on the Board of Directors for Merger& Acquisitions.

I thrive on challenge and felt ready for a change. It was a family decision and so we moved from the Netherlands via Ireland (nine months) to Ottawa, my Canadian husband’s hometown where his mother, a west-coaster, still lives.

I had no thoughts other than to take a sabbatical and see what inspired me on the next step of life’s journey. The journey subsequently morphed into two acquisitions ripe for management restructuring and two start ups in the tech sector.

Ottawa is a very safe city with a growing international community, tech hubs, talent and  home to the largest employer in the country, the Federal government. We have access to great health care, housing and activities. Yes, the winters get very cold, but the warmth of our great Irish Canadian and local community compensates for the long weeks of boots and tukes!

Why should Irish companies consider Ottawa?

Ottawa has affordable housing costs in comparison to other major Canadian cities.  We are a tech hub with over 1.3m people and 1,750 knowledge-based business employing over 68k people. We boast innovative talent, highly competitive business costs, incubator hubs such as Invest Ottawa and L- Spark, and access to the Embassies of the world to establish international opportunities. Not bad for our small Nation’s capital! And did I mention, it’s only 16 km to the ski slopes?

What are your key pieces of advice for Irish companies starting to do business in this city?

As we are in the nation’s capital Ottawa, a few simple rules to follow are: take the time to build relationships. Be punctual, give a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and opportunity will follow.

What’s next for ICCCOTT?

ICCCOTT continue to grow with representatives from predominately three sectors: Legal, Financial Services and Tech.  We enjoy and are grateful for the support of the business community, the Embassy and our Chamber colleagues throughout Canada. We are excited and look forward to a unique event happening in this fall, an ICCCOTT initiative which will bring together the first Pan-Canadian Chamber meeting with guests ICBA and other parties in September 2019.

Check out part 1 of our series of Ireland-Canada Chamber profiles with Lar Quigley of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce Vancouver

ICBA Insights – May 2019

Our business mission to Canada, Sovy profile, upcoming events, Ministerial interview, and more...


Dear ICBA members and friends,

We are delighted to be leading a business mission to Canada this month, in co-operation with the Ireland Canada Chambers of Commerce in Toronto and Montreal. This mission will take place from May 27 – 31 2019 and Ambassador Jim Kelly will participate alongside Senior Executives from the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. Participants will meet Policymakers, Industry Leaders and Senior Executives in the business communities in Toronto and Montreal (itinerary in full below).

Kate HickeyA mission such as this presents valuable opportunities to bring our two business communities closer together and forge relationships that will last long into the future. We look forward to meeting our peers, colleagues and friends and we will report back on the events of the mission on our return.

 

Thank you.

Kate Hickey
Executive Director


ICBA & Cork Chamber Trade Briefing - March 2019

ICBA Cork Chamber Trade Briefing March 2019

ICBA Cork Chamber Trade Briefing March 2019
ICBA Cork Chamber Trade Briefing March 2019

ICBA Cork Chamber Trade Briefing March 2019
ICBA Cork Chamber Trade Briefing March 2019

Thanks to Cork-based Canadian operations OpenText, Voxpro and eSentire for being part of the ICBA Trade briefing, kindly hosted by Cork Chamber. Leading Edge Group and Osborne Recruitment Consultancy shared their experiences of setting up operations in Ontario, while Dr Eleanor Doyle of Cork University Business School highlighted Canada’s ability to nurture clusters and the sectoral benefits that such clusters generate. Thanks also to John Roxburgh of the Embassy of Canada for a great address.


The ICBA Meets: Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment

ICBA meets Richard Bruton

Having just returned from a visit to Canada as part of the 2019 St Patrick's Day programme, Minister Richard Bruton took the time to sit down with Patrick Haughey, Communications Consultant to ICBA and talk about the trip. In this interview the Minister talks about:

+ The Irish companies that are solving key problems for Canadian industry
+ Meeting the big Canadian investors in Ireland
+ Switching on the green lights at Niagara Falls
+ What Ireland can learn from Canada's approach to carbon taxes and rebates
+ How the Irish government plans to help multinationals establish and expand in Ireland

Read Article or Listen to 10-minute interview


ICBA Business Mission to Canada

ICBA Business Mission to Canada May 2019

The ICBA will lead a business mission to Canada in co-operation with the Ireland Canada Chambers of Commerce in Toronto and Montreal from May 27th – 31st 2019.
Ambassador Jim Kelly will accompany the group in Toronto and Deputy Michael Hurley will proceed to Montreal with the group . Key participants include  IDA and Enterprise Ireland. Participants will attend a series of meetings, events and roundtable discussions with key political and industry leaders. Participation is for members only.

Events

  • Business Summit with Toronto Ireland Chamber ICCCOTT hosted by Gowlings. Keynote address by Ambassador Jim Kelly with featured speaker Jean Francois Perrault, Chief Economist at Scotia Bank
  • Photoshoot with Premier Doug Ford
  • Breakfast Trade briefing with Irish Canada Chamber of Commerce Montreal hosted by McCarthy Tetrault

Meetings & round-table discussions

  • Jose A Santoyo ,Director Trade & Investment Services Office ,World Trade Centre Toronto
  • Minister Doug Smith of Economic Job Creation and Trade
  • Jennifer Reynolds, CEO Toronto Finance International
  • Hon. John Manley, Chair of CIBC Bank
  • Ken Anderson of Intact Insurance
  • Invest Quebec

IN PROFILE: John (JP) Popolizio of Sovy

John PopolizioIn the first of our series of ICBA member company profiles, John (JP) Popolizio of Sovy describes his experience of setting up operations in Ireland, he outlines the most positive and challenging aspects of the process, and also shares his advice for Canadian companies thinking of choosing Ireland as their EU base

VIEW ARTICLE


ICBA SOUNDCLOUD

ICBA Events

Dates for your Diary

May 22nd - Lunch for participants of the 2019 mission to Canada

May 27th  - ICBA Trade Mission to Canada

June 13th - ICBA Golf Classic, Castleknock Golf Club, Dublin

June 27th - ICBA Inaugural Pub Quiz, venue tbc

June 30th - ICS Canada Day Picnic, Malahide Castle, Dublin

For further information please email events@irelandcanada.com


SUBSCRIBE TO ICBA NEWSLETTER

If you are interested in joining the ICBA please email kate.hickey@irelandcanada.com

Company Profile: Sovy

SovyJohn Popolizio

Describe your company in 60 words or less

Sovy is the one-stop-shop for simplifying business compliance, providing cloud-based regulatory compliance solutions for Micro and Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) around the world.  Sovy’s affordable subscription services enable a MSME to get compliant and stay compliant with privacy, conduct and anti-fraud regulations for a fraction of the cost of bringing in high-priced experts.

Why did you decide to set up a base in Ireland?

We chose Ireland as our base of operations in the fall of 2017 because of the great support system for high-tech start-ups and deep professional talent base. Crucially, Ireland also has a wide array of international trading partners, so having a base here can create major opportunities to do business with SME’s in several other countries, including Canada.

What has been the most positive aspect of doing business in Ireland?

Ireland is both people and business friendly, and there is a general positive can-do attitude that makes growing a business quite exciting.

What has been your single greatest challenge to date (of operating in Ireland), and how have you approached overcoming it?

The landscape is complex in terms of where to set up operations, and weigh the different areas, talent pools, partnerships and the like.  We have been working with Enterprise Ireland (EI), the Local Enterprise Office in Meath County and trade groups to make informed choices. EI has also been invaluable when it comes to learning about Ireland’s key trading partners and opportunities to scale Sovy by working with companies internationally.

What key piece of advice would you give to a Canadian company thinking of setting up in Ireland?

Take the time to meet the government and public-private partnerships that are set up to help your business become established and known and avail yourself of the many supports those organisations offer. Key organisations that you will want to connect with include Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, and groups like the Ireland Canada Business Association.

ICBA January & February News

Dear ICBA members and friends,

It is very early in the year, but 2019 has been incredibly significant for the ICBA so far, as our association has now over 100 members.

When we formed the membership committee back in the summer of 2017, we knew there was potential to grow the ICBA given its strong value proposition and connections between Ireland and Canada. However, we never believed in our wildest dreams that we could get to over 100 members so quickly.  We now truly represent Canadian businesses in Ireland and Irish businesses in Canada.

This landmark number would not have been achievable without the support of my fellow ICBA membership committee members (Blaithin O'Donnell, Chris Collenette and Kate Hickey) and of those members who outlined the merits of joining the ICBA to their own networks.

Added membership has given us greater resources to achieve the objectives of our members, and this year will see us hold more influential events, lead a trade mission to Canada, and gain even greater exposure in national media for vital issues involving the Ireland-Canada relationship.

Dan O'DonnellOur special thanks goes to Ambassador Kevin Vickers who is finishing his term as Canadian Ambassador to Ireland. Kevin been a fantastic patron of the ICBA and worked tirelessly to support and help the ICBA grow and thrive throughout his time in Ireland. We would not have been able to achieve our success without the support of Kevin and we greatly appreciate the friendship, leadership and status he has given us. I wish Kevin the very best of luck in the nomination to lead the Liberal party in his home of New Brunswick. I am sure he will leave a lasting impact on them just like he has with us in the ICBA.

Finally, thanks to each and every one of you for your support and engagement in helping us to achieve our ambition to grow to over 100 members.

Dan O'Donnell
Chair of Membership Committee


The ICBA celebrates reaching 100 members - Stephens Green Hibernian Club - 5th February 2019

ICBA 100 Members Celebration

ICBA 100 Members Celebration
ICBA 100 Members Celebration

ICBA 100 Members Celebration
ICBA 100 Members Celebration

We were delighted to welcome so many of our valued members, colleagues and friends to help us celebrate reaching 100 members. Some of those in attendance included:

  • Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD
  • His Excellency Kevin Vickers, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland
  • Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD
  • Deputy Alan Farrell, FG TD & Chair of the Ireland Canada Parliamentary Party
  • Seamus Woulfe, Attorney General

The ICBA: Making Headlines

ICBA Irish Times

Coverage of the ICBA's latest member survey in The Irish Times - just one of the national newspapers to feature the results of our poll.  READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Thanks to everyone who took time to respond to the recent ICBA Brexit survey. These polls allow us to give a louder voice to Canadian multinationals in Ireland, and to lobby government more effectively to create an even better environment for doing business.

This survey revealed that, while 90% of our members believe Brexit presents Ireland with a major opportunity’ to attract large multinationals away from the UK and to set up operations here, they also see a number of clear ways to maximise the opportunity at hand. They include:

  1. The housing crisis must finally be solved and supply of homes and rental properties boosted to adequate levels. Ireland’s attractiveness as a place to do business is being serious hampered by lack of such critical infrastructure.
  2. Increased resources for the IDA to promote Ireland’s attractiveness as the gateway to Europe for Canadian multinationals. As the 10th largest economy in the world (and one that is growing) there is huge untapped potential in Canada. We very much welcome the IDA establishing an office in Toronto and look forward to their extending resources to  the West Coast to leverage the significant opportunities that exist to attract investment from Western Canada.
  3. Fast-tracking of the National Broadband Plan. The ESRI recently found that high-speed broadband boosts business productivity by up to a third, yet 540,000 rural homes and businesses still await the fate of the plan. National high-speed connectivity will allow companies to tap into a greater talent pool of regional and remote workers, significantly easing the pressure on our major cities.

As the voice of Canadian business in Ireland the ICBA will continue to seek our members' expertise and opinion on matters of such critical importance and look forward to your ongoing support.


Farewell to Ambassador Kevin Vickers

Farewell to Ambassador Kevin Vickers
Farewell to Ambassador Kevin Vickers

Farewell to Ambassador Kevin Vickers
Farewell to Ambassador Kevin Vickers

Farewell to Ambassador Kevin Vickers

The ICBA wishes Ambassador Vickers a fond farewell. We thank the Ambassador for taking a personal interest in the ICBA and raising the meaning of Patronage to a whole new level. The relationship between Ireland and Canada has flourished with the Ambassador at the helm, championing our Association in Ireland and Canada. The ICBA will sorely miss the Ambassador’s unswerving commitment, hospitality, and good humour. We wish him the very best of luck in the next chapter of his dynamic and successful career. Go n-eiri on bothar leat.


IN PROFILE: THE IRELAND-CANADA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE VANCOUVER

Vancouver Chamber Lar QuigleyFor part one of our series of profiles with Ireland-Canada Chambers of Commerce, we’re joined by Lar Quigley, President of the Ireland-Canada Chambers of Commerce Vancouver. Lar describes ICCCVan's mission and membership, explains what makes Vancouver so special, and gives his top advice for doing business there.

TAKE ME TO THE THE ARTICLE 


"The untold story of how Canada and Carney helped Ireland through its darkest hours in the crash"

Sunday Independent | 30.12.2018

ICBA News

Ireland's most-read Sunday newspaper, the Sunday Independent, recently featured the fascinating story of Canada's critical role in steering Ireland safely through the economic recession.

It centers around the unique relationship between Jim Flaherty (late Finance Minister of Canada), Mark Carney (former Governor of Bank of Canada) and Michael Noonan (former Finance Minister of Ireland).

It truly is a story that reveals the depth of the political, cultural and economic ties between our two nations, and huge thanks to the ICBA's Deirdre Giblin for helping to bring it to life in this article. Please do read the full story HERE.


FEATURED PODCASTS: BREXIT INSIGHTS SPECIAL

Listen back to two highly insightful speeches delivered at the 5th ICBA Business Summit in Iveagh House in late 2018. Together they paint a detailed picture of the potential political and economic ramifications of the UK's departure from the EU and are a must-listen for anyone doing business in Europe.

Simon Coveney

An Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney - LISTEN

Simon Rossiter

James Rossiter - Senior Global Strategist, TD Securities - LISTEN

ICBA SOUNDCLOUD

ICBA Events

Dates for your Diary

IRELAND

March 28th - Ireland Canada Trade Briefing (11am) River Lee Hotel, Western Road, Cork. The Ireland Canada Business Association and the Cork Chamber will host this seminar designed for those already doing business in Canada, considering an expansion into this market, or exploring business or investment opportunities in Canada. For further information please email events@irelandcanada.com

CANADA

8th March - Toronto. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, Ambassador Jim Kelly, and Deirdre Moran from the IDA, along with a  panel of business people and experts, will discuss how companies across diverse industries can benefit from investing in Ireland and its "springboard" effect into Europe.  Registration through THIS LINK.


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Interview with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton

ICBA meets Richard Bruton

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, recently spent a number of days in Canada as part of the Government’s 2019 St Patrick’s Day Programme.

The agenda was a mix of culture, business and politics, taking in visits to significant historical sites like Ireland Park, and meetings with political figures like Omar Alghabra, MP and Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna. The Minister also switched on the green lights at Niagara Falls for St Patrick’s Day.

Minister Bruton sat down with the ICBA on his return and spoke in detail about the visit in a ten-minute interview which you can listen to below.

 

We’ve also pulled out some of the highlights which you will find below in lightly-transcribed excerpts.

Meeting Omar Alghabra MP, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification

Omar Alghabra

Omar Alghabra MP, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification

Canada is faced with a very similar challenge as Ireland post-Brexit. We see our largest neighbour possibly putting significant trade barriers in our way. Canada has suddenly realised also that it's 75 percent dependent on the US market and that it's not a market that is quite as guaranteed as it was. So, it was very interesting to exchange thoughts on what Canada is doing with its trade commission to support Canadian businesses internationalizing.

We had meetings with a number of Irish companies there, the common thread was Data Analytics and Financial Technologies and they had developed very good opportunities in Canada solving key problems for Canadian companies. So, it was very interesting to see that on both sides you’re seeing the evolution of new ideas, innovative companies spreading their wings by trading in one another’s markets. At a time when a lot of people talk about protectionism, it’s really exciting to see companies carving out a niche and diversifying and benefiting, and mutual gain - a win-win situation.

Encouraging further Canadian investment in Ireland

There's been a huge expansion in recent years of Canadian investment in Ireland, and it's something that we want to encourage. I attended a business breakfast where very high on the agenda was the changing relationship as a result of Britain exiting the European Union and Ireland being the last common law English-speaking country which is a member of the European Union, and there's no doubt that people in Canada will be looking at Ireland in a fresh light in that respect. So, we have forty very important IDA investors already who have invested in Ireland and we would like to see others follow.

Meeting with Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna – carbon taxes and rebates

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

It was very interesting to get an insight into what Canada is doing [in the area of Carbon taxes] - they have been pioneers of the idea that we should have a carbon tax with the money refunded. They are proposing that ninety percent of the revenue raised would be returned in a dividend and ten percent would be used for climate action. So, it is very much the idea that the purpose of a carbon tax isn't to raise funds but rather to encourage people to switch the way they behave in their own home and move away from high-carbon ways of living.

They've run into some difficulties because Canada has very independent-minded provinces, and so the relationship between a federal initiative and implementation in the provinces can be fraught. So, there is some pushback in some provinces against these measures and that is a very significant challenge that it is being worked through. I’m not going to comment on domestic politics in Canada, but it does show that anything in this area is a challenge because you're trying to encourage people to change the way they're used to living. And in significant states with either a significant shift in the political climate are indeed very strong interests in oil or the like, that poses greater problems.

They also are looking at this concept of transition and how they would manage, and have been managing, particular sectors that are very badly affected by transition. So, for example, they have committed in some provinces to get out of coal altogether and that obviously has had an impact on some traditional coal mining and coal-dependent areas. So, it was again interesting to see what they're doing in that area.

What can Ireland learn about implementing or increasing carbon taxes from the Canadian model?  

I think the dividend idea is one that is very attractive. The idea that it's clear to the public that when you're raising a tax it isn't a question of trying to raise revenue or putting barriers in the way of people, it's trying to change behaviour for the long term. So, if you receive a cheque in the post, as they are proposing, then that makes it easier for people to accept that this is a good measure.

I think always the problem in relation to climate is people, at a certain part of their brain, accept that it's a good thing, but to make it possible for them to move on from that, to switch to an electric vehicle or to insulate their home or to change to a heat pump, these things are harder steps and so it is important that you get momentum and get citizens engaged. And I think changing the way the tax is perceived is a really important part of that.

Minister Bruton switched on the green lights at Niagara Falls for St Patrick’s Day

Minister Bruton switched on the green lights at Niagara Falls for St Patrick’s Day

How the Irish government is helping Canadian multinationals to grow  

What Ireland did after the crash was rebuild our economy based on enterprise, innovation, and exporting, and that was founded on a very competitive base. And while, yes, as we approach fuller employment there are some pressure points, we currently have the highest productivity growth in Europe, and we're seeing companies do really well competing in the export markets.

The Government is acutely conscious of the need to improve our skill base. We are already the country with the highest third level participation, the highest number of graduates in STEM subjects, we have a very good regime for people who want to take workers in either from the rest of Europe or indeed from further afield to meet a particular skills shortage. So, we have equipped our economy to be sensitive to the needs of international investors both on the skills front and on the tax front, and we are very competitive in many ways.

We have just published a €120bn infrastructural plan where we're planning to roll out the infrastructures that will sustain the progress we're making, and we've identified key areas where there is tightness - housing being a major one, transport of course, and other social areas like health and education. So, I think we have a very strong strategy to continue to be an internationally competitive country, the government is acutely conscious of the needs of multinationals who are trading partners for us and we want to encourage that growth.

For more regular insights and presentations from political, diplomatic and business leaders visit the ICBA soundcloud page and subscribe to our newsletter below.

 

In Profile: Ireland-Canada Chambers of Commerce Vancouver

Vancouver Chamber of CommerceVancouver Chamber Lar Quigley

For the first in our series of ICCC profiles, we’re joined by Lar Quigley, President of the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce Vancouver (ICCCVan).

Describe ICCCVan’s genesis and mission

The founding members recognised there was limited support and networking opportunities for the growing Irish community here in the city and sought to address this by establishing a formal chamber.

The Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce Vancouver (ICCCVan) was subsequently incorporated in late 2017. Initially we had three board members and have since expanded to ten with an all island approach and mandated gender balance.

We support our members by providing them opportunities to hear from senior leaders in the community as well as participate through networking events, roundtables and educational sessions.

ICCCVan maintains close links with our sister chapters across Canada, as well as the Irish Embassy in Ottawa.

Tell us a bit about your membership

We have so many amazing members here at the Chamber, but some interesting entrepreneurial ones have come from Bia Foods (Siobhan Young) and Donnellan’s (William Donnellan) whom both spotted opportunities to better serve the Irish community and have grown impressively in the food and hospitality sectors over the years.
From a general overview, our member’s industry breakdown is reflective of the economy here in the province with remainder mostly composing of professional services.

• 30% Technology
• 25% Natural Resources
• 15% Construction/Engineering

Can you point to an example of a member that started out very small and has grown successfully in Vancouver?

Moving2Canada.com is a great example. Since launching in 2012 by Ruairi Spillane, the website has been a one-stop shop for free impartial information and resources to make the transition to Canada enjoyable and simple for prospective immigrants and the recently arrived.

They offer job postings, a ‘getting started’ guide’ and articles covering every step of the journey. Their social forums service thousands of community members.

Ruairi’s accomplishments were recognized on a broader scaler recently when he took home the Immigrant Entrepreneur at the Small BC Business Awards here in Vancouver. Ruairi recently launched Moving2Ireland.com with the idea of bringing the same concept to help both new immigrants to Ireland and returning emigrants.

What brought you to Vancouver?

I had made the decision to leave Ireland when I saw some of the early signs of the recession in 2008 and on a whim applied for a Canadian working holiday visa.

I had visited Ontario/Quebec on a vacation in 2006 so that had planted some seeds and gave me a sense of what to expect from a cultural perspective.

Toronto was my original focus as it’s the country’s financial hub and I had a background in treasury banking from Dublin. It was my mother who randomly recommended Vancouver, she had been here at a conference in the 80s and so I opted to start here – ten years later I’m living two blocks from where I started.

What advice would you give to an Irish company starting to do business in Vancouver?

Vancouverites value relationships and the city has a village like feel to it with a compact downtown core. The work style, whilst focused, is more laid back than you’ll find in Dublin and this is driven by having such easy access to the mountains and beaches in the city.

Why Vancouver? Top three things that make this city so great.

Vancouver is Canada’s fasted growing and most diverse metropolitan economy. There are significant opportunities for growth and development in the region. British Columbia has a long history of pioneering technological innovation and has a world class creative and digital media sector.

From a top three perspective:

1. Most liveable and healthiest city in North American.
2. Number 5 on KPMG’s most tax competitive world cities
3. Canada’s number one start-up ecosystem

Anything else you would like to add?

We’re excited to build on our launch momentum to host an upcoming ministerial visit (Ciaran Canon) for the St Patrick’s week festivities.

A special note of thanks to our friends at the Embassy in Ottawa and the new Consulate team here in Vancouver for all their invaluable support.