The Focal Point of British Irish Business REPRESENTING INFLUENCING NETWORKING SUPPORTING
“Accelerating recovery, growth and job creation: We each benefit greatly from the flow of goods and services between our economies, amounting to 1 billion euro every week and we want to see this expand and develop further.” Joint Statement by the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny Monday 12 March 2012.
END OF YEAR NEWSLETTER
2012 message from the President
It gives me great pleasure to introduce our latest Chamber Newsletter. We’ll cover the major events we have held, the policy issues in which we are involved, what we are going to do in 2013 and information on our first annual conference, “Gathering for Action”, which will be held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on the 24-25 Jan 2013. It seems like only yesterday that we formed the Chamber, however, since last year we have expanded from a small nucleus of 22, to a membership rapidly approaching 200. Furthermore our membership now stretches across these islands from South West Ireland to Northern Scotland, covering a wide variety of different business sectors, from small scale food producers to multi-billion hi-tech manufacturers. The influence that the Chamber has, with companies with a combined turnover of around €38 Billion and employing more than 54,000 on either side of the Irish Sea, is considerable and growing. We have also grown our team working for you, with the appointment of a Director in Britain who will cover our membership and events needs in Britain, and, dependant on resources, we are looking to make another appointment in the New Year to enhance the small and close knit team Steve Aiken leads in Dublin. There has been a raft of activities that you have supported, whether the highly successful breakfast and lunchtime briefings, meetings with key politicians, the growing number of policy subcommittees, our gala dinner and events in Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, London, Cork and Dublin. With your help we have achieved a lot this year and may I and your Board, thank you for your considerable support. It has also been my privilege to meet many of you and to discuss with you how we can meet the needs of your business and how we can help you prosper. I have taken a strong message from you that the Chamber needs to be at the forefront of the debate on Britain and Irelands' economic
growth and that we need to keep our Governments focus on helping our companies to grow, innovate, and through our endeavours, help our countries out of our current economic malaise. I was particularly pleased to see both governments declaration of their intent to put Business at the heart of the relationships within these Islands, as underlined in the Downing Street Declaration (available hereI have also been encouraged both by the words of An Taoiseach at our Presidents Dinner and comments from both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Tánaiste at events that we have hosted, that 2013 will see substance on the intergovernmental agreement. Indeed our Conference in January is centred on how we can push this agenda on, with many senior government figures in attendance, ready to listen to and debate with us, the needs of business. I look forward to meeting many, if not all, of you at the Conference in January, but in closing, on behalf of the Chamber, I wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and a very successful 2013! Fergal Naughton President British Irish Chamber of Commerce
Britain and Ireland in 2012 Dominic Chilcott, British Ambassador to Ireland Relations between Britain and Ireland are better than they’ve ever been. In March in Downing Street, the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach set out their joint vision for our two countries to intensify cooperation across the whole waterfront of government activity. Given the difficult economic challenges we both face, it is not surprising that Mr Cameron and Mr Kenny put boosting our economic and trading links at the centre of their strategy. As good friends and close neighbours, Britain and Ireland are increasingly conscious of our economic interdependence. Ireland’s biggest trading partner is the UK. The UK’s economy can help Ireland generate the growth needed to escape its economic crisis. The Irish market matters hugely to Britain too. Ireland is the fifth largest destination for goods leaving Britain. The UK sells twice as much to the 4.5 million people of Ireland than to the 1 billion inhabitants of China. 2012 has been a difficult year for European economies. Despite that, we, in the British embassy, have seen demand for our commercial services increase. The number of British companies asking the embassy’s UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) team about Ireland has more than doubled compared to the previous year. Across Britain, UKTI representatives are being invited to speak and attend events promoting the Irish market. Ireland is being pitched as an optimal place for UK companies to start exporting. Ireland is very much back on the agenda in the UK. All of which, as we look forward to the Christmas holidays and the approach of 2013, should give the membership of the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce and others, working to strengthen ties across the Irish Sea and throughout the island of Ireland, reasons to be cheerful.
2012 Message from the CEO Building for the future 2012 has been a momentous year for the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and for the British Irish business space. It has seen your Chamber grow significantly, both in membership and output; and 2012 has also seen some significant events on the economic stage that have, and will continue to have, impact on us next year and in the years ahead. We have grown the Chamber from the 22 founding members to an overall membership of around 200 today. More importantly, the Chamber now spans most of the key economic areas of activity, including agribusiness, hi-tech manufacturing, business support, energy, banking, financial and legal services, training, the arts, sports, distribution, retail, and the hospitality industry. This gives us a breadth of activity that has allowed us to gain real influence with key stakeholders on either side of the Irish Sea. Our hosting at various events of the Taoiseach, TĂĄnaiste, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Secretaries; Minsters and Senior Civil Servants from Agriculture, Business, Energy, Environments, Europe, Innovation, Communication and the Arts is testament to the importance they attach to you and your Chamber. Of equal note has been the formation of our policy groups, each covering major sectors of the business space. Whether it has been in helping to influence inter-governmental MoUâ€™s, producing pre-budget submissions, briefing senior financial leaders, or in helping to inform the business community of opportunities for expansion and growth, your contribution to these committees has been first rate. Furthermore, the presence of so many senior business leaders within these groups has given considerable influence, allowing us to cement our position as the focal point of the British Irish business space. With your help we have also expanded our footprint in Britain, and with your continued financial support we have been able to recruit a Director (GB), Michael Keaveney, who I know many of you have already met, and whose remit is to help grow the Chamber significantly, building up our UK membership base and acting as the point of contact for our members there. We have now moved (along with our partners Chambers Ireland) into new and more suitable offices on Lower Mount Street. We have additional space, IT connectivity and access to Board Room facilities for any Chamber members to use. We have migrated our internet connectivity and upgraded our website, although there have been some transitional issues which hopefully we have now resolved. On a positive note, we are now holding our first annual conference in the Aviva Stadium. This high profile event will begin at lunchtime on the 24th January, finishing at midday on the 25th. Included in the event is a cultural evening at the National Concert Hall in the presence of a VIP guest and several famous Anglo/Irish literature and arts figures to whom we will be making presentations. We have a large number of senior industry figures talking at the Conference and there will be key note addresses by Senior UK and Irish Cabinet ministers and First Ministers from the regional
governments. There will be considerable opportunities for both highlighting the work of the Chamber and your businesses. There still remains the opportunity to sponsor individual sections for the Conference. Click Here for Conference Details Further on into 2013 there are a considerable number of activities that we have been asked to support, to host, and to facilitate. Under the radar will be the formation, through the subcommittees, of business focus groups commenting directly to British and Irish Government economic policy, directly to government departments. This initiative, as part of the joint declaration, is a unique opportunity for Business to comment on, and influence, current and future activity. We will, above the horizon, be significantly increasing our media messaging across the islands, using our policy committees to help inform a wider audience of our concerns. As part of the joint declaration process we have also been asked to facilitate a major event in London leading up to the St Patrickâ€™s Day period. Additionally we are in stages of developing activity in support of the EU Presidency, the business focus around the G8 summit, the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, on top of our rolling out of SME events in Cork, Leeds and London in the first half of the year. We will also be helping to host more social occasions, including a British Irish Race day in Leopardstown in June and the Ireland/England Cricket in September. None of this activity could have occurred or be contemplated without your continued support.
View from London 2012 Message from Director, GB (Membership and Events) In November of this year I was appointed Director Great Britain for the Chamber. I have found the last seven weeks working with the members and prospective members to be rewarding and I look forward to developing a strong presence for the Chamber in Britain in the coming year. Based in London, I have a wealth of experience of working in the British Irish space. Prior to my appointment I served at the Irish Embassy in London for the last four years and in a number of posts with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I look forward to working with our British-based members and in assisting our Irish-based members connect into the British market. Since my appointment I have been very active in meeting Council members in Britain and Ireland and with British-based members of the Chamber to discuss his plans for the Chamber and to canvass on how the Chamber might develop in Britain. I have represented the Chamber at several highprofile events including the IIBN annual conference in London and at a breakfast with the President of Ireland, hosted by Enterprise Ireland in Manchester. I have also been supporting a number of Irish
based companies develop promotional events in Britain and providing advice on the scope of such events and on target audiences. On 21 November the Chamber held its Autumn Reception at the Institute of Directors in London. The guest speaker at the well-attended event was Mr John Teeling, of Petrel Resources. John delivered a tour de force on future global challenges and how Britain and Ireland can be positioned to take advantage of new global demands and opportunities. In attendance was Chamber President, Mr Fergal Naughton as well as a number of the Chamber’s Council members. Also in attendance was Mr Vernon Coaker MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The event was generously sponsored by Eircom and Browne Rudnick. Next year will be an extremely busy year for the Chamber in Britain and I look forward to serving the needs of the membership and developing the membership in Britain. Several events are already in the planning for the first quarter. The first event, a networking evening in Leeds is already confirmed and will be hosted by O’Rourke Reid at their offices on 21 February. In March the Chamber will host a major lunch in London in advance of the Cheltenham Racing Festival and St Patrick’s Day. Already the event promises to become a major fixture in the Chamber’s annual calendar. Details regarding both events will be released early in the New Year. If members want to actively get involved with either of the events they should contact me directly. As the membership of the Chamber grows in Britain it is planned that a number of additional subcommittees will be established to mirror the work of the sub-committees set up in Ireland. The GB Sub-committee is currently working with a number of members on a Future Forum for the Chamber that will operate in both Britain and Ireland. The Future Forum will focus on encouraging and fostering the development of up and coming Chamber members. We are confident that the Future Forum will be an exciting new element that will prove attractive for members to get involved in.
TEAM WORK: MEMBERS’ PARTICIPATION MADE 2012 HAPPEN
2012 Message from Director, Ireland (Membership and Events) 2012 kicked off with a Business Leaders’ evening at HSBC’s Grand Canal Offices, at which the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP was guest of honour. Mr Clegg was back in town in November. This time he addressed a gathering at PwC, commenting on the current economic climate and business relations between neighbouring islands. He reminded the audience of the wonderful support shown to our collective athletes during the Olympic Games in London.
Throughout the year many member companies supported Chamber activities, hosting events and giving generously of their time. During February, over twenty council members participated in a strategy meeting at Mason Hayes & Curran’s offices, providing invaluable input to the future direction of the organisation. ESB, Lloyds of London Ireland, GSK and Aviva Healthcare supported the Chamber in various activities throughout 2012 and we are also grateful to High Performance Training who provided complimentary attendance to Chamber staff on several courses during the year. We also greatly appreciate the membership referrals we receive from many of you as your endorsements encourage new members which are the lifeblood of the Chamber. Both HE Excellency Dominick Chilcott and HE Bobby McDonagh hosted and spoke at events throughout the year and continue to pledge their support to Chamber activities. The London launch of the Chamber at the Irish Embassy in the run up to St. Patrick’s Day was attended and addressed by the Rt Hon Owen Patterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD. This event created greater local awareness of the Chamber and its activities and enabled us get a membership recruitment drive in GB underway. Also in March Ulster Bank kindly invited the Chamber to co-brand their event at which they hosted HRH Princess Anne prior to the Scotland v Ireland clash at the Aviva Stadium. Several months later, the Chamber’s finance subcommittee enjoyed the hospitality of Ulster Bank at a breakfast for the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Roger Gifford and his entourage who visited Dublin in November.
Throughout the year, members attended networking breakfasts which our friends in the RDS arranged, with speakers including Tony Carroll of ESB, Giles O’Neill of Enterprise Ireland, Sean Quinn of Failte Ireland and Hugo O’Neill, as ever, drawing large attendances. Other networking events covered topics as varied as “Your Business Online “courtesy of O’Rourke Reid Law Firm and a post budget briefing with RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. A breakfast which was specifically tailored for SME members and sponsored by AIB, took place at the RDS in October. Networking events give us a short break from our desks, enabling us to see the bigger picture, meet interesting people and to
learn from the experience of presenters and they continue to be an important part of the Chamber’s calendar. Visits to Northern Ireland helped grow the membership there and to strengthen links with Invest NI and the NI Chamber of Commerce, resulting in two events in Dublin. INI sponsored an event on R&D Tax Credits in March and in May a half day seminar focusing on Investment Opportunities in the North with several high calibre speakers was sponsored by KPMG. In-between, several Board members attended the official opening of the Titanic Centre in April. The Chamber continues to develop close working relations with other Chambers throughout the Country and we were delighted to hook up with Dublin Chamber in May to visit Manchester. The local branch of AIB generously hosted a networking lunch for the trade mission and throughout the two days, excellent connections were made by delegates. Plans for the Chamber’s first Gala Dinner got underway in the spring, when several potential venues in Dublin were considered with just two large enough to accommodate the anticipated number. The event at the Four Seasons in September was sold out in just a week and unfortunately many people on the waiting list were not accommodated. This night was greatly enhanced by the generous support of ABP Food Group, Adams Foods, Diageo, Fyffes, Glen Dimplex, HSBC and Irish Distillers. The Guest of Honour, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, addressed the gathering and kindly stayed until the small hours, making himself available to the many guests who wished to speak with him. The Director General, Northern Ireland, Julian King was presented with the President’s Award 2012 in recognition of his contribution to improved political and business relations between Ireland North and South. Guests were entertained by vocalists Gavan Ring and Nicola Mulligan and musicians from the Ulster Orchestra. Other cultural occasions throughout the year included the opening night of Delius’ Village Romeo and Juliet at the Wexford Festival Opera in October.
UKTI continued to be strong supporters of the Chamber, assisting with speaking engagements and involving the Chamber in many activities that helped grow awareness of the brand. Likewise we’ve enjoyed support from Bord Bia and other government agencies throughout the UK and Ireland and the Welsh and Scottish Assembly Governments. Recent partnerships and activities that have and will continue to create greater awareness and opportunities include links with ISME and Corkmeet. In addition, we’ve become more actively involved with Small Business Can, Business Women Can and WXN. Throughout the year a focused membership drive grew numbers throughout the islands, resulting in a doubling of members. New companies joined at all membership levels, with the number of Council members increasing to over 40. Several existing members decided to take a more active role and participation in the Chamber and upgraded their membership to avail of greater benefits. As we’ve grown numbers in particular sectors we’ve been able to offer increased engagement with many members, throughout the subcommittees. As we go to press, all hands are busily preparing for the January Conference which promises wide reaching discussion on a variety of topics, with high level political participation and senior industry specialists making contributions. We are particularly appreciative of the lead Brian Britton of Oriel Windfarm has taken in putting the business programme together. We look forward to seeing many of you and your guests at the Aviva Stadium on 24th and 25th January and at the National Concert Hall on the intervening evening. Next year’s plans include a pre-St. Patrick’s Day event in London, an Energy Summit in Donegal;, Corkmeet in April and a summer lunch in Cork, along with a high profile British Irish Race Day in Leopardstown in June. We’ll keep you posted of our plans. Finally, may I thank you for joining us on this journey which I hope is proving a good one for you. Please be assured of our commitment to making the membership services we offer the best available.
Merry Christmas! Yve O’Driscoll
2012 Message from Industry and Regulation Committee During the year, the Industry and Regulation subcommittee met with a number of members to consider the Chamberâ€™s pre-Budget submission to the Irish Government. Our submission is available on the Chamberâ€™s website and focused on Irelandâ€™s tax competitive position, recommending changes to the R&D Tax Credit regime, the Irish intellectual property regime, and the Special Assignment Relief Programme. These changes were considered relevant to facilitate the growth of Irish companies and to encourage UK companies to continue to invest in Ireland. For 2013, the main focus of the Committee will be to consider the impact of the many constructive tax reforms proposed in the UK in the last couple of years (including reduced corporate tax rates, reduced income tax rates, patent box, CFC reform, and new incentives to encourage investment in small businesses). These are likely to be beneficial to the many Irish companies that have operating subsidiaries in the UK. They will also impact on many of the larger UK companies with significant investments in Ireland. We will engage with Irish Government to consider whether any of the legislative policy choices adopted in the UK should be considered by Ireland. In addition, we will also continue to focus on identifying changes that will encourage growth of Irish businesses and the Irish economy. Andrew Gallagher, KPMG
2012 Message from Small and Medium Enterprises Committee It is amazing how many people I meet who, when I mention the Chamber, assume that it is a longestablished and venerable organisation. This is due to the level of activity and the visibility of the Chamber which far exceeds what could be reasonably expected of an organisation barely into its second year. I have the honour of heading up the SME sub-committee of the Chamber and we are working hard to ensure we are relevant and a useful resource for our members. We held our first major event aimed specifically at SMEs in October with a breakfast seminar which featured success stories, support services and tips for breaking into the UK market. Our thanks to AIB for sponsoring and Pat Hickey of Rothco for sharing his story. We will be repeating this session in Cork in March. The first British Irish Chamber conference is fast approaching and the SME content is sure to be a big draw for our current membership and those considering joining. In addition to the exciting line-up of speakers, there will be a SME breakout session and a host of support and advisory service providers on hand throughout the event offering free advice to delegates together with a speednetworking breakfast with appointments to meet our Corporate members. Our events for 2013 will include sessions on Insolvency & Debt Collection, Procurement, Using Technology to Build and Export Business, and a Trade Visit to the UK. I look forward to working with all our SME members in 2013. Richie Smith, Hays Recruiting
2012 Message from Food and Agribusiness Committee The Food and Agribusiness Subcommittee was formed last September to represent the food and agribusiness sector within the chamber. Both markets represent each others top export destination in the food and agribusiness sector with £32 billion moving in both directions. The issues of sustainability and food security are paramount to maximising the benefit to both countries in the food and agribusiness sector. These issues are of such importance that they were mentioned in the Joint Declaration made by Prime Minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny in 2012. Also mentioned was the commitment to support research and development to achieve the aims of the Joint Declaration. The Food and Agribusiness Subcommittee agree that cooperation within the sustainability, regulation and knowledge arenas will help key stakeholders understand better the strength of joint markets and the opportunities for maximising the relationship between the two nations. Eoin Tonge, Greencore
2012 Message from Culture, Arts, Sports and Tourism Committee The cultural, arts, sports and tourist sectors are represented in the Chamber by a CAST subcommittee which meets regularly with the view to creating something greater than the sum of its parts alone. In 2012, the subcommittee has been involved in including cultural components to all of the British Irish Chamber’s major events. Members of the Ulster Orchestra along with vocalists Gavin Ring and Nicola Mulligan wowed at the Chamber Gala Dinner in September and a cultural gala will take place for delegates of the Annual Conference in the National Concert Hall which will be hosting a performance by the RTE Concert Orchestra and renowned violinist Nicola Benedetti. Events such as those happening in Derry/Londonderry are one of two specific items up for discussion at the British Irish Chamber Annual Conference in January 2013. The cultural, arts, sports and tourism committee of the British Irish Chamber is committed to using members’ collective resources to support the events and make Derry/Londonderry truly legendary in 2013. Our aim is to maximise the opportunities for all involved in the culture, arts, sports and tourism sectors to around major events in the calendar, such as the Ireland V England 6 Nations game. The CAST subcommittee will be working toward organising a “Cultural Calendar” in 2013 on the British Irish Chamber website to assist the CAST community maximise the output from their sector and join the dots effectively around these major set piece events.
Contact Details Steve Aiken, CEO +353 1 400 4312
Yve Oâ€™Driscoll, Director Ireland +353 1 400 4314
Michael Keaveney, Director GB +44 (0) 756 814 2698
Emily Glen, Research Associate +353 1 400 4317
British Irish Chamber End of Year Newsletter