29 May Fine Grain Property Sponsors ‘An Evening with Dan O’Brien’
May 2017: Fine Grain Property sponsors “An Evening with Dan O’Brien
Last evening, Fine Grain Property was delighted to sponsor a very engaging and interesting evening with Dan O’Brien, hosted by the Irish Chamber of Commerce Singapore, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The evening was moderated by Clive McDonnell, Head of Emerging Market Equity Strategy at Standard Chartered Bank. Fine Grain Property CEO Colin MacDonald spoke briefly about the Firm’s investments to provide workspaces for employers in the industrial, logistics, and business park sectors in Ireland, which has been the fastest growing economy in Europe in recent years.
Dan O’Brien is Chief Economist at the Institute of International and European Affairs, Ireland’s leading foreign affairs think tank, and a columnist for Ireland’s Independent Newspaper Group.
His talk was punctuated with some fascinating statistics and anecdotes on employment, economic growth, politics and geopolitics, and he gave the audience a fresh perspective on the common wisdom on global economic affairs.
Dan presented a pragmatic and positive view of the state of the European and Irish economy. The last 4 years have seen increasing solid recovery in Europe.
In a long-term perspective on the remarkable transformation and growth of the Irish economy over the past 30 years, Dan spoke of how the number of people at work in Ireland during the 70 years between Ireland’s independence in 1926 and 1996 was effectively stagnant, at about 1.2 million. In the next 10 years to 2006, the number of people at work almost doubled, to over 2.1 million.
Indeed, during the past three years of strong recovery from the global financial crisis, more jobs have been created in the Irish economy than in the 70 years to 1996!
As export-oriented economies, both Ireland and Singapore have exports amounting to more than 100% of GDP.
Dan’s analysis included consideration of threats to Irish growth, including continued high levels of debt in the public and private sectors, and potential challenges posed by Brexit. Though Brexit may present obstacles to growth in certain sectors of the Irish economy, Ireland is well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities it may create. Many companies in Britain will have to consider relocating offices elsewhere in the EU in order to continue doing business within the EU economic zone. Ireland’s young educated population, its developed infrastructure, and its ease of doing business makes it a strong option for many international companies.
The attendees at the talk were senior business people and professionals, and the excellent presentation generated a lively discussion afterwards.