Irish ambitions for fund industry remain strong

IrelandThe Irish government has made clear its support for the nation’s funds industry in a new five-year strategy. Launched yesterday by the prime minister, Enda Kenny, the Government’s Strategy for the Future of International Financial Services Industry in Ireland 2011-16 seeks to further develop the country’s attractiveness as a fund domicile and finance hub. A range of measures are to be implemented, including development of the tax framework and regulation, co-ordination of international representation, an extension of the range of international financial services activity, targeting skills development and a sustained control of business costs. Gary Palmer, chief executive of the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) said: “This strategy clearly demonstrates the government’s ambitious plans and commitment to Ireland as a domicile and administration centre for internationally distributed investment funds.” According to the IFIA, in 2010 the Irish funds industry grew from €1.4 trillion to €1.9 trillion assets under administration and created more than 400 jobs. It is set to create some 1,000 jobs in 2011. The strategy comes out as Ireland continues to grapple with the domestic impact of the global financial crisis and a bailout by the EU. Although Ireland’s economic programme received a positive joint quarterly appraisal from the EU, ECB and IMF this week, it was also dealt a blow by Moody’s Investor Services, which downgraded its sovereign debt to junk status. Funds industry leaders in Ireland have said that the international nature of the funds industry there makes the domestic situation largely irrelevant to its survival. ©2011 funds europe

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