Cork is thriving on a unique mix of dynamic, innovative and enterprising start-ups combined with established Foreign Direct Investment global giants and local Private Enterprise. “The Cork region is synonymous with FDI, recently we saw medical device giant Stryker invest a further 200 million in Cork,” says Celine Fox, Resident Partner with KPMG’s Cork audit practice. Celine has over 20 years’ experience providing advisory services to a wide range of Irish and multinational clients. She highlights that Cork has been attracting FDI investment for 50 years, with Pfizer the first multinational to pave a way that many others would follow.
Over 150 FDI companies have chosen Cork for their operations.
In 2019, Cork is home to 7 of the top 10 pharma companies in the world. “Cork punches well above its weight and not just in biopharma, over 150 FDI companies have chosen Cork for their operations, complementing our strong indigenous base.”
Cork has all the ingredients to attract and retain FDI – a talented young workforce with a “can do” attitude, a business friendly eco-system, and a quality of life many other cities could only dream of. Cork was voted the third friendliest city in the world by Conde Nast Traveller in their 2018 survey. “Cork’s warm welcome, local traditions, rich culture and culinary delights are amongst the advantages that resonate with travellers and those who now call the city home.”
Celine points out the increasing trend for FDI to seek city centre locations, a trend where Cork offers affordable urban living with easy access to a region steeped in natural beauty, culture and tradition – the best of both worlds.
Cork has significant potential with the docklands area providing space for the city to grow and develop.
Celine strikes a cautiously optimistic tone, outing elements of global economic uncertainty currently at play “there are a number of challenges to be faced in the short to medium term, Brexit remains, US 10 Year Treasury notes have slumped, there’s a decrease in global manufacturing output and the threat of trade tariffs from the US are all potential FDI inhibiters.” However, Celine identifies the strategic investment and infrastructural projects of Project Ireland 2040 as transformative, which will dramatically enhance the city and towns on the Western Corridor attractiveness. All of which can contribute to Cork to become the fastest growing Irish city over the next 20 years with a three-fold increase in population.
“Cork has significant potential with the docklands area providing space for the city to grow and develop, and already a number of major development projects are underway and in the pipeline. Cork is alive right now, and on the cusp of a major transformation which will attract further FDI. The future of Cork is exciting and positive - and we must act now to seize the opportunity.”
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This article first appeared in The Irish Examiner, and is reproduced here with their kind permission.