Ireland: New era of stronger EIB activity: Taoiseach to open EIB Dublin office and Minister Noonan to chair meeting to outline increased EIB engagement
9 December 2016
The European Investment Bank’s first permanent office in Ireland will be formally opened on Friday 9 December by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.; Michael Noonan T.D., Minister for Finance and Governor of the European Investment Bank; Paschal Donohoe T.D. Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank; and Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice-President responsible for Ireland.
The new office, to be located in Upper Mount Street, Dublin, will strengthen links between the EIB, the world’s largest international public bank, and Ireland and in particular enable greater private sector investment in the country by providing direct guidance on possible technical and financial support.
The new EIB Group office in Ireland represents the first ever permanent presence of both the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund in Ireland. The office will be headed by Cormac Murphy an experienced banking specialist who during a 22-year career with the EIB has previously led teams financing innovation and corporate investment, and developing new financial products, across Europe.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny welcomed the clear commitment of the EIB to broaden and enhance activity in Ireland.
“The European Investment Bank has helped to improve lives and expand economic opportunities across Ireland for more than 40 years. In recent challenging times President Hoyer’s personal focus has ensured that the EIB has been a true friend of Ireland, supporting crucial new investment in education, innovation and key public infrastructure and helping small business. In September, this Government nominated Andrew McDowell to be the first Irish Vice-President of the European Investment Bank in 12 years. Today, the opening of the EIB’s new Dublin office represents the next stage of a stronger and broader relationship between the EIB and Ireland and I wish new head of the Dublin office Cormac Murphy the best of success.” highlighted An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.
“Close cooperation between the European Investment Bank and the Irish government has been crucial to the EIB’s effective response to the economic crisis in Ireland in recent years. The new EIB Group Dublin office marks a new step for the EIB in Ireland. Looking ahead the EIB will strengthen our focus to unlock new investment both by Irish businesses and broader support to improve education, energy, transport and communications.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
Commenting the opening of the new office, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. said: “I strongly welcome the opening of the new EIB Office in Dublin. This development is an important signal of the strong working relationship between the EIB and the Irish Government, and I look forward to an even closer working relationship between Ireland and the EIB into the future.”
“The permanent presence of the EIB on the ground in Ireland is a statement of confidence of the EIB in the future investment opportunities in the Irish economy and in the people of Ireland, will ensure more visibility for EIB’s product and advisory services and represents a strongly competitive alternative source of financing for many businesses and employers in Ireland. We are also hopeful that the new office will allow greater sharing of knowledge in both directions as to how best to finance for growth in Ireland and Europe’s economy.” added Minister Noonan.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said that “the opening of the European Investment Bank’s Dublin Office comes at a symbolic time for investment in Ireland. We are emerging from an economic crisis and our economy continues to perform strongly, notwithstanding the risks and uncertainties that have emerged in the course of this year. Our strong economic performance has allowed us to continue to implement our Capital Plan and look forward to allocating increased resources to capital spending through next year’s Capital Review, to support investment in critical economic and social infrastructure. Our own efforts are now further complemented by this timely initiative by the EIB, which will no doubt enhance investment in Ireland, and in particular bring further momentum to the delivery of high quality infrastructure in Ireland over the coming years.”
The Minister also welcomed the establishment by Minister Noonan of the new high-level EIB-Ireland Financing Group, which he said “offers the opportunity to help tailor the EIB’s involvement in the Irish market to match requirements of both the public and private sector and to also help in publicising available EIB products to potential Irish clients.”
“As EIB Vice-President with oversight responsibility for Ireland, I am delighted that we have taken this step to open an EIB office in Ireland, and I look forward to the EIB playing an even greater role in supporting the Irish Government and Irish enterprises in delivering the additional investments needed to secure and broaden the Irish economic recovery, particularly in the context of the growing international challenges,” said Andrew McDowell, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.
Prior to the formal opening of the European Investment Bank Dublin office, Minister Noonan will chair the first meeting of a new EIB-Ireland Financing Group, to steer future European Investment Bank investment activity in Ireland.
This group, with membership from relevant Government departments as well as EIB senior management, will have a key role in raising awareness in Ireland of new EIB products and encouraging a strong pipeline of projects from Ireland to benefit from EIB financing, including under the Investment Plan for Europe.
The group will be supported by three working groups at official level:-
Financing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (including agri-business)
Financing Connectivity (including ports, airports, road, rail, broadband and energy)
Financing Social and Economic Infrastructure (schools, healthcare, universities)
The meeting will also discuss support for business investment backed by the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund, including increased cooperation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund and dedicated support for agricultural investment.
First-time support for the Royal College of Surgeons will be announced prior to the ministerial meeting and office opening. The European Investment Bank has supported a record level of education investment in Ireland in 2016, including backing for investment in schools across the country and transformation of university campuses.
Opportunities for new EIB lending to smaller and more challenging projects under the Investment Plan for Europe and ensuring that the EIB’s financial and technical experience supporting first-time projects across Europe will also be identified.
In recent years the EIB has supported school and university investment, Dublin Airport Terminal 2, expanding the LUAS tram and upgrading the Port of Dublin, social housing and primary health care centres, renewable energy schemes, better mobile phone coverage and rural broadband infrastructure.
Since 1973 the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 15 billion for investment to improve public services, key infrastructure and unlock new opportunities for Irish companies across the country.
The European Investment Bank is expected to strengthen backing for transport, education, housing, healthcare and small business investment in Ireland, in addition to examining support for sectors such as exporters and agriculture most affected by Brexit, following the meeting of the Ireland-EIB Financing Group held at the European Investment Bank headquarters in Luxembourg earlier this week.
The EIB expects to open its first permanent presence in Ireland later this year. The plans were confirmed by Andrew McDowell, the new European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Ireland during his first working visit to Dublin since assuming office earlier this month.
The EIB provided more than EUR 825 million for long-term public and private sector investment across Ireland during 2016. Backing for 12 different initiatives to improve crucial services, enhance key infrastructure and unlock economic opportunities represented the largest number of schemes supported in 24 years.