Enda Kenny – Work and Vision – Kenny is a good Taoiseach

Dear Member

It is vital that we continue to communicate internationally that
Ireland is open and ready for business and investment, and I have been
trying to do just that this week here in the US.

Over the past two days, in New York and Boston, I have met with many
different potential investors, but the message has remained unchanged.
As Bill Clinton said last week in New York, there has never been a
better time to invest in Ireland.

In Boston last night, I was honoured to address the John F Kennedy Jnr
Forum in the Harvard Kennedy School, where I outlined my hopes for the
future recovery of our nation. I later met with various senior
business leaders at a function hosted by the American Ireland Fund.

My engagements today included a lunch hosted by Enterprise Ireland for
economic contacts and client companies before meeting with Hank
Kuchermam, CEO of Boston Scientific, a company which already has three
Irish bases, in Galway, Cork and Clonmel.

My itinerary in New York included Tourism Ireland and IDA planned
appointments, as well as an event part-organised by Senator Eamonn
Coghlan in aid of The Children’s Medical and Research Foundation and
Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in the New York Athletic Club. I
will return to Ireland late tonight.

The Government’s top priority is job creation, and this week we
announced our Action Plan for Jobs, which aims to create 100,000 new
jobs by 2016, which I believe to be an achievable target. This is a
Plan that is ultimately about creating an environment for the creation
of business and industry in Ireland.

What we are aiming to do is to assist enterprises in enhancing their
export capabilities, to facilitate small and medium-sized enterprises
by providing easier access to credit, and to ultimately entice more
foreign investors to Ireland. The Plan contains 15 key actions which
will make it cheaper and easier to do business here by supporting
existing Irish businesses and new start-ups, whilst helping to attract
inward investment from overseas.

Through a new network of Local Enterprise Offices in local
authorities, Enterprise Ireland will provide expert help to start-up
businesses at a local level and a new Potential Exporters Division
will enable the identification of a wider group of potential exporting
companies.

This move aims to impact on 1,800 people not previously involved in
exporting. In addition, the Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme and the
Micro Finance Fund will help firms to access credit. The Micro Finance
Fund, expected to be rolled-out around July, will provide loans of up
to €25,000 each. I hope that these measures will quickly begin to have
an impact.

As part of Budget 2012, the Government has signaled its intent to
radically overhaul the way in which the State supports the unemployed
and our ‘Pathways to Work’ policy, due to be launched next week, will
fundamentally change the way in which the welfare system and its
support services interact with the unemployed. The revised structures
will be of most benefit to those who are finding it difficult to
re-enter the workforce and who might be also long-term unemployed.
Full details will be announced next week.

Chinese Vice-President Mr Xi Jinping arrives in Ireland tomorrow for a
three-day visit, the aim of which is to build on the trade
relationship between our two countries. On Sunday, we will hold talks
and a State dinner at Dublin Castle, which I hope will be beneficial
to both China and Ireland. In addition, Mr Jinping will undertake an
extensive programme of engagements.

The Young Fine Gael Conference takes place in Tullamore this weekend.
This year’s theme is ‘A Bright New Start’ and the event promises to be
both informative and enjoyable. I will address the Conference myself
tomorrow night and look forward to meeting some of you in the Bridge
House Hotel.

Very best wishes
Yours sincerely

Enda Kenny TD
Taoiseach