Irish funds business ‘vital’ to Ireland’s recovery, says minister

IrelandThe Irish funds industry has aided the economic recovery of Ireland, which has returned to growth and is expected to grow further, according to the country’s finance minister.

Michael Noonan said the industry had made a “vital contribution” to recovery and that it had increased employment.

Minister Noonan was speaking yesterday at the Irish Funds Industry Association’s Annual Global Funds Conference in Dublin.

Ireland, which had its sovereign debt downgraded twice in 2011 by ratings agency Moody’s to land at Ba1, or “junk” status, returned to growth in 2011, while 2012 saw a second successive year of growth for the Irish economy, Minister Noonan said.

Real GDP grew by 0.9%, which the minister described as “a resilient performance given trading partner weakness”.

He also said the trend looked set to continue, with recent forecasts projecting a further expansion of growth this year.

“Ireland has been through a very tough period in the past few years; we have grounds to be optimistic now on a number of fronts but in financial services the one constant has been the funds industry,” Minister Noonan said.

“The industry continues to create employment, to showcase our talents and to enhance Ireland’s reputation as a place to do business.”

Ireland was rocked by the 2007-2008 financial crisis, but industry leaders have argued that its funds business has been sheltered from the worst effects because its economic drivers are mainly from overseas, including Asia.

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