DUBLIN 8.45 AM – 21ST February, 2013 – “Digital technology developments have the power to contribute strongly to economic recovery and new employment opportunities for Ireland,” said An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., addressing a UPC Ireland discussion forum on Jobs, The Economy and Ireland’s Digital Future.
Hosted by UPC Ireland CEO, Dana Strong, this morning’s discussion forum follows from the recent independent report commissioned by UPC on Ireland’s Digital Future, researched and written by Gerard O’Neill, Chairman of Amárach Research.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. said:
“The digital economy has a major role to play in our country’s economic recovery, with Ireland on its way to becoming the digital capital of Europe. We welcome the arrival of global digital brands into Ireland and the contribution they make to our economy and society. The ongoing challenge for Government is to prevent a two-tier digital economy from developing and to ensure that Irish small and medium sized businesses are encouraged to embrace the opportunities new digital technologies can offer.
“I want to see all Irish businesses live up to their potential and have the ability to compete globally. For the Government’s part, we will work to create a supportive and flexible enterprise environment so that Ireland’s digital economy can continue to go from strength to strength.”
The UPC Report on Ireland’s Digital Future projects a doubling in the Irish internet economy to €11.3 billion annually by 2016 if current trends are maintained. This will be underpinned by 2.6m Irish online shoppers spending €5.7 Bn (7% of all consumer spending) in 2016, compared to €3.7 Bn in 2012.
While the internet economy currently accounts for roughly 3% of Irish GDP, this is set to double to 6% over the next three years.
Using the Booz & Company Digitisation Index, the report estimates that this can translate into employment of 18,000 or more if Irish society and industry can keep pace with the digitisation levels of our EU neighbours and particularly our UK and Scandinavian counterparts.
UPC Ireland CEO, Dana Strong said:
“The prize from greater digital uptake will be obtained for Ireland if we can use Irish based innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity to create enhanced revenues and jobs for industry and particularly for small and medium businesses with export potential”.