BC’s Ireland Business Council members hear the Irish view on Brexit, co-dependence with US

Brexit and Irish-American co-dependence were among the main talking points at a Global Leadership Symposium hosted by the Boston College Ireland Business Council at the BC Club in downtown Boston last month.
Irish Ambassador to the US Dan Mulhall spoke at length about the “Atlantic bridge” of history, culture, and ideas connecting the US and Ireland, describing the economic partnership between the two countries as the strongest it has ever been.
“Investment flows are a two-way street,” he observed, noting that more than 700 US companies are currently investing in Ireland and that 100,000 Americans are employed by Irish businesses on US soil. Mulhall also said he foresees an economic power shift in light of Great Britain’s referendum decision to leave the European Union.
“I predict we’ll see a lot of foreign direct investment moving from the UK to Ireland,” he said. “And Ireland will become a more attractive option where US companies can grow their businesses.”
The ambassador went on to offer an indirect criticism of the White House’s recent adoption of protectionist tactics, like tariffs. “As the saying goes, protectionism may mean a short-term gain, but it will lead to long-term pain,” he warned.
Ireland’s Minister for State Michael D’Arcy echoed Mulhall’s remarks regarding Brexit and emphasized Ireland’s opposing stance.
“There’s no doubt that Brexit is the overarching challenge in Ireland today,” he said. “Ireland remains committed to the European Union. Our membership is central to the success and development of the Irish economy.”
D’Arcy also highlighted Ireland’s continued recovery from the economic recession that has severely impacted the island in the years since the 2008 global collapse. He noted that 2017 saw a GDP growth of 7.8 percecnt, a figure that experts predict will be exceeded in 2018.
The event also presented a discussion panel featuring business leaders from Boston-based companies, including Polina Raygorodskaya, co-founder and CEO of Wanderu; John Harthorne, founder of MassChallenge; Gregg Adkin, a vice president at Dell Technologies Capital; and David Cancel, co-founder and CEO of Drift.
Dr. Robert Mauro, Director of the Global Leadership Institute and the Irish Institute at Boston College, acknowledged the business leaders’ respective corporations as models of Boston’s global reach as a business hub, and spoke to the purpose of the council as a means of bringing together and facilitating the exchange of ideas and information between Irish and American business leaders.