Government must ensure that the fruits of economic growth are used to build sustainable jobs, according to Martin Murphy, managing director of Hewlett Packard in Ireland and incoming president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
Murphy was speaking ahead of the Dublin Chamber AGM in Dublin this evening. The AGM, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, will see Murphy inaugurated as president of Dublin Chamber.
Murphy will be presented with the chain of office by The Irish Times managing director and current president, Liam Kavanagh. Also at the event, Greg Clarke, managing director of Digicom, will be confirmed as vice-president.
Speaking ahead of the AGM, Murphy said that a key focus during his term as president will be on job creation and increasing Dublin’s competitiveness.
“Our success or failure in the next two to three years will depend on how we resolve key paradoxes in Irish society. Confidence is on the rise but it is fragile. Anything that sets the dials back must be strongly resisted. Businesses need confidence that Government is being ruthless and relentless about competitiveness and that the fruits of economic growth are used to build sustainable jobs. In the coming year, I will be working hard with the Chamber to drive a pro-business agenda that will deliver growth and jobs.”
To increase Dublin’s competitiveness, Murphy stressed the importance of using resources wisely on targeted tax cuts and not increased wages. “We must make sure we don’t put unemployment on the back burner. For this to happen, we must make work pay and ensure that as many new jobs as possible in the economy go to those on the live register. It is also vital that those on the live register have the skills to get back to work.”
Murphy highlighted the Chamber’s Online Dublin and Best Place to Start initiatives which are supporting small firms. “Both Chamber projects are working with city and national government to gear up small firms to globalise. We are the best in the world at creating jobs in the corporate sector and we now need an equal eye on encouraging founders and business owners to build and scale businesses here. Ireland is a great location to start a business and startups can be a driver of new jobs in the new economy. We need to encourage more startups to do more innovation and to do that we must make R&D more competitive. We must also exploit linkages between multinationals and indigenous companies to create an eco-system of spin-off enterprises.”
During his presidency, Murphy said that he will lead a proposal to consolidate Dublin’s reputation as the best international city in which to build a business. “The sacrifices, understanding and determination of Irish people and Irish businesses have helped us emerge from a recession. The challenge now is to manage the recovery so that every citizen feels they are involved in an economy which is growing in a sustainable way and a society in which both the sacrifices and the fruits of growth are shared fairly,” Murphy added.
According to Liam McLoughlin, chief executive – Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland: “Our ambitions and those of Dublin Chamber of Commerce to get our capital city and its businesses prospering again are absolutely aligned. We want to be clearly recognised as Ireland’s Enterprise Bank and we are determined to go the extra mile to support and grow our SME customer base. Whilst growth over the past few years has been predominantly from the export and foreign direct investment sectors, the domestic economy is now playing an increasing role and there are encouraging signs of a pick-up in both business and consumer confidence. Our five year plan will see us deliver €33bn in new lending into the economy – with over €12bn targeted at the SME sector.”