Speaking to Brian Cotter, Public Affairs Director for the Amercian Chamber of Commerce Ireland on her appointment this week to President of the Chamber, Ms Phelan vice president of PayPal Europe said her number one priority is to make sure US companies continue to invest in Ireland.
She also mentioned the new troika that she believes Ireland should be focusing on Tax, Talent and Competitiveness. “The 12.5% tax is really important to us and is non negotiable and we are making sure that that remains there,” said Phelan defiantly.
With respect to talent Phelan said, “I think we have to make sure that we have the right skills and competencies to be able to deliver to the requirement of the investment companies coming into Ireland.”
The third area of focus according to Phelan is competitiveness, which she says “we have to have that competitiveness or else we will not get that investment into Ireland.”
According to Phelan, “Ireland is very competitive and there are opportunities … energy costs are our second highest expenditure outside of labour … I think we have a bit of work to do. If we look at our counterparts in the US, their energy costs are cheaper than ours; we have to remain competitive in all aspects to ensure that we continue to draw inward investment into Ireland.”
On why the Tax rate is so important Ms Phelan said “its important because it makes us competitive and that’s the number one thing that US investors think about, do we still have the 12.5%? And we have to continue to support that and continue to have it and as is said it’s a no negotiable.”
When asked about Ireland’s exit from the bailout Phelan said “it’s fantastic”. She believes that it’s so important for our image abroad that we have tackled this task in such a serious manner.