Global Irish Economic Forum - Day 2

Monday 10 October 2011 11.33
Bill Clinton addressing the Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle
Bill Clinton addressing the Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle

Video Gallery | Day One As It Happened

1905 That's the end of our live text updates on the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum. Many thanks for reading.

1900 The Tánaiste brings the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum to a close by saying: "We all know these are difficult times. We should admit mistakes were made. We can't change the past, but we can define the future. What matters now is what happens next."

1858 Willie Walsh says the Taoiseach deserves great credit for engaging with the business community.

He says it's also important to have a Taoiseach who "looks happy in what he is doing".

1853 Bill Clinton says Ireland should be exploring opportunities around crowd-funding websites.

"Crowd-funding could give every member of the diaspora a chance to contribute to Ireland's recovery," says Mr Clinton.

1849 The Taoiseach says the people in Ireland are the biggest reason why tourists want to come back here.

1845 Bono says there is a bunch of economic giants out there who'd be ready to be there for Ireland.

He says Ireland was an awful place in the 1970s. He says now he can't imagine not raising a family in Ireland.

1842 Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore says diplomacy and foreign representation is changing and has to change. He says "the era of the diplomatic bag is history".

1840 Declan Kelly says in times of chaos, the key is to simplify. He says the same is true in attracting inward investment. He says we cannot be all things to all men.

He says in less than five years' time we will not need cash or credit cards to buy things - we'll be doing it all through our mobile devices.

1838 Willie Walsh says Ireland has a history in the tourism industry. He says we've lost our way a bit but it can be recovered.

He says Ireland should take full advantage of new flight links to the Middle East.

1834 Bono says Ireland has an "indomitable spirit". He says he thinks Irish people are very well suited to the 21st century because we are "great anarchic thinkers". He says the digital age suits us.

1833 "I'm good at being in a band. And I think this looks like a great band you've got here. And if we can get a few more dates out of the President we could go to some interesting places" - Bono

1831 Loretta Brennan Glucksman says the American-Ireland Fund has raised $77m in the past two years.

1829 Mr Clinton says Ireland thinks it has a lot of tourists, but he says we could get a lot more.

He says he thinks we'd be making a big mistake not to try to get more small-business growth, and more tourism growth.

1827 Mr Kenny says we have to grow the indigenous economy, and as part of that the government will publish a fiscal programme to say what it will be doing, and when it will be doing it.

1825 The Taoiseach says the government is very focused on people's mortgage difficulties. He said the Government appointed a specialist commission to look at options for distressed mortgages.

He said he wants people to have the best opportunity of getting out of debt.

1822 Mr Kenny says the Government will introduce a "microfinance scheme" for small businesses.

He says the Government is going to set up a "real communications capacity within government".

He says there will be a review of the forum decisions in March 2012.

He says there have been offers from companies around the world to take on internships.

1821 Taoiseach Enda Kenny says the forum is a genuine attempt to connect the Irish diaspora around the world.

He says the people's mandate is being reflected in the agenda of the government. He says Government cannot do it on its own, so it needs assistance.

1817 Mr Clinton says he thinks there are huge numbers [in the US] who are proud of their Irish heritage and who have never been asked to invest here. He says there are people in America who would "phoney their genealogical charts" to have Irish heritage.

1811 Fionnuala Sweeney asks Mr Clinton where are the areas where Ireland are doing better than other countries.

Mr Clinton says Ireland did very well with exports and foreign investment, and he says we should now maximise indigenous growth too.

He says the only real cloud hanging over Ireland is "you're still pretty dependent on exports to Europe". He says Ireland needs a system that organises opportunities for smaller businesses.

Mr Clinton says Ireland thinks it has tapped all its resources, but "it hasn't".

1809 Mr Clinton says the global debt crisis is nowhere near as bad as the Great Depression.

He signs off by telling the crowd that "you have to create the Ireland of the 21st century".

1806 Mr Clinton says everybody around the world thinks Ireland have done a great job in managing a miserable situation. He says it's cold comfort to some people in Ireland, but he says he hopes we will find a way to "go get those people".

1804 We had a temporary technical issue with the feed in the past couple of minutes but if you manually refresh this tracker now (F5) it will be back. Apologies.

1755 Mr Clinton says there are two big decisions: 1. How can you deleverage and get your macroeconomic house in order? 2. What are the things that need to be done - dozens and dozens of them - to help Ireland recover?

1753 Mr Clinton says US multinationals have two trillion dollars and that they are trying to figure out what to do with that money.

He says Ireland needs to target US companies that are "rolling in dough".

1752 Mr Clinton says manufacturing is no longer a free-market activity and that there should be broad public support for government policies that recognise that.

1750 Mr Clinton says Ireland has done a good job with exports and breaking into the Chinese market. He says Ireland can also "do a lot for the Indians".

He says India needs all kinds of infrastructure help, and that there are opportunities there for Ireland. He also cites Brazil as a country in which there are opportunities.

Mr Clinton urges Ireland to seek out countries that we're not currently exporting to.

1746 Mr Clinton says there is no perfect solution [to the debt crisis].

1743 The former US President says the world thinks more of Ireland than many Irish think of their own country.

He says Ireland made a big decision not to default on its debt. He says it was the right decision.

1740 Mr Clinton says he knows alot of people in Ireland are discouraged, but the rest of the world thinks Ireland is pretty great. He says Ireland has to play on that.

He says Ireland is about the only country in Europe that has a younger workforce than the US.

Mr Clinton says Ireland has "a lot going for you".

1737 "In our family - second only to America - we love this country and we believe in you," says Mr Clinton.

1736 Bill Clinton opens by thanking the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste ("Taw-nesh-tee") and Bono "for wearing a jacket".

1733 Mr Kenny says Mr Clinton has worked tirelessly to help the most vulnerable on our planet.

The Taoiseach quotes Franklin D Roosevelt: "A nation must believe in three things: its past, its future and its people."

1730 Taoiseach Enda Kenny thanks Bill Clinton for attending the forum, says it's an honour to welcome him back to Dublin, and says Ireland owes him a debt of honour and a debt of gratitude.

That Mr Clinton facilitated peace is something "we cannot and will not forget," he says.

1726 Declan Kelly of Teneo says the things that the forum does collectively to aid the government in Ireland's recovery will be pivotal.

Mr Kelly says there has never been a greater friend to Ireland than Bill Clinton.

He says the addresses that Mr Kenny and Mr Gilmore have made in America in recent months have been inspirational and forward-looking.

1725 Addition to the scheduled panel: Loretta Brennan Glucksman. And Bono.

1724 Standing ovation as Bill Clinton, accompanied by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, enters the room.

1723 Bono has just done his Bill Clinton impression. Honestly.

1716 CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney tells us that the session will be getting underway "very shortly", following a meeting between the Taoiseach and Bill Clinton. It "won't be long now", she tells the assembled crowd. Hope she's right.

1656 Just a reminder: As well as Bill Clinton, the other speakers at the final session are Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Declan Kelly (Teneo) and Willie Walsh (British Airways).

1650 Mr Clinton has arrived at Dublin Castle.

1648 Apparently Bill Clinton has just left his hotel. He's on the way. And my guess is he ain't walking so not too long now to kick-off.

1643 Bono, replete with customary shades and leather jacket, is on the way into the room. He stops to have a word with the assembled press. How very Bono.

1635 Lots of politicians in the room to see the final session of the Global Irish Economic Forum. Michael Noonan. Gerry Adams. Leo Varadkar. Michael Ring. In fact, every politician in the land seems to be there. We're still waiting for the main man. That's Bill, by the way.

1632 The room is filling up with people for Bill Clinton's speech. Photographers waiting for him outside.

1608 Former US President Bill Clinton will speak at the Forum at around 16.30. You can watch it live here.

In the meantime, take a look at some exclusive interviews from Dublin Castle.

1525 Bono is expected to appear shortly at Dublin Castle

1425 The expanded fellowship scheme is co-ordinated through UCC, with business people Denis O'Brien, Liam Casey and Terry Clune among the sponsors.

1420 Speaking at the Forum, co founder Gerry Creaner of Singapore based pharmaceutical company DPS, said Irish people "already know how to do business in Europe and the US, the next generation must learn how to do it in Asia".

1410 1,000 Irish business graduates are being offered placements with companies, business colleges and language schools in Asia as part the expansion of the Farmleigh Fellowship programme announced at the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin Castle today.

A number of global companies have offered €400,000 to sponsor an expansion of the programme, with the Government providing €200,000.

Speaking at the launch in Dublin Castle today, chairman Fred Combe said it was effectively a masters programme injecting Irish talent into Asia.

He said Mandarin was the "language of the future" and some of those on the course would be immersed fully in the language for nine months of their training.

Fellows will be based in Beijing, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Dubai.

1400 Businessman Denis O'Brien said he "paid no attention" to some controversy that had emerged before his attendance at the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin castle.

He said business and Ireland's recovery were far more important.

Mr O'Brien said Asia was the "next United States" and Ireland had to be at the centre of the business opportunities there.

He said our workforce was perfectly placed to benefit, but that as Asian people learn English at an increasing level, we must learn Chinese.

Mr O'Brien said Ireland's reputation had not been damaged by the economic collapse and we were "very hard on ourselves" and that signals from Ireland were very positive right now.

He said many countries, including the USA, had suffered a financial "meltdown" and were now getting on with things.

He said Ireland must redouble efforts to keep the recovery on track and take advantage of the foreign direct investment that was becoming available on a large scale in Asia.

He said the idea of a Minister for Asia was an excellent idea.

1300 The session on Ireland's culture has ended. Our next next live video session is Bill Clinton's address from approximately 4.30pm, although it could start later than that.

1259 Minister Jimmy Deenihan sums up by saying it's very helpful to have all the major decision-makers in the arts together in the one place. He says we shouldn't be overly critical of ourselves. He says the message is that we have a very good product, and that our culture is unique and that's what makes us stand out.

1248 Speaking from the floor, Moya Doherty of Riverdance fame says she would like to see a forum whereby there's a dialogue and understanding by business leaders of what it is artists do.

1238 The actor urges people to think about the diaspora in a real way, and not just as "people who have gone over there".

1237 Mr Byrne says he believes one of the most innovative things to come out of the Global Irish Economic Forum is the establishment of worldirish.com

1235 Gabriel Byrne says education is the key to our economic future. He says we all know culture is our calling card, but he ponders how we can connect that to the notion of economics.

1229 Dara Ó Briain says Ireland's strategy for its diaspora in the UK must be different than that for the rest of the world.

1225 Mr Deenihan says he has to find 15% cuts in his budget, and that he wants to get that money in from business.

1223 Colm Tóibín says Ireland does not have an artistic problem, but rather a financial problem. He says the grant to the Arts Council is "the absolute bedrock of everything that's made artistically in this country".

1222 Minister Deenihan says there is an interface between business and the arts in Ireland but that it has to be extended.

1211 Dara Ó Briain says Irish expats in the UK don't feel as expat as those in Chicago or other places. He says the Irish diaspora in the UK is the largest, and the nearest, but the response to it is the least coherent.

1204 Gabriel Byrne says government should aid - "but not in any way more than that be involved" - in art. Aid should never veer towards "censorship".

1201 Minister Jimmy Deenihan says there is a plan to build a new centre for the storage of archive material. It will cost about €50m.

1159 Mr Tóibín thinks there is a fundamental misunderstanding in Germany over the past few years about what has been happening in Ireland. He says that level of misunderstanding is "awesome".

1156 Helen Lambert, who's based in France, says people are interested in our country, our society, and our culture.

1151 Colm Tóibín says it's important to remember that our priority now is to create employment in Ireland. He says emigration is "a tragedy".

1150 Dara Ó Briain says in 2002 he was "the only person to emigrate". He says he left because London is one of the three world centres for stand-up comedy.

1149 Gabriel Byrne says he left Ireland not only to stretch himself as an actor, but also to develop as a person. But he says technology means actors can now audition in Ireland for a part in London or Los Angeles.

1146 Helen Lambert says it's not too late to harness the talent that exists in Ireland. She agrees with Mr Cooper's question that Ireland too often creates designers for export, rather than staying at home.

1142 Comedian Dara Ó Briain says artists should be left to do what they do. He says Ireland could concentrate more on effectively helping its video game industry.

1140 Author Colm Tóibín says we've to make sure that the arts work done in Ireland is properly funded first, and consolidated, in order for it to then matter in the world as something we can export.

1139 Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, says Irish artists are giving a very positive impression of Ireland.

1136 Gabriel Byrne says the stereotype that we’ve had to deal with in America of Irish men has been slowly eroded.

1130 Broadcaster Matt Cooper is moderating the session 'Irish Culture: Building on the Progress since Farmleigh', which is about to begin.

1058 Some images from last night's dinner at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham:

The President with actor and cultural ambassador Gabriel Byrne and former Chevron CEO David J O'Reilly

L-R Gabriel Byrne, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, President McAleese, Hilary Weston, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

1055 Colm Tóibín says changing German's minds would matter enormously to the Irish economy.

He says they see the Irish as "feckless" people who partied for ten years. He said no artist partied during that time, but were instead working on their best works.

1054 Dara Ó Briain says he would like to see financial encouragement given to new media cultural efforts.

1047 Dara Ó Briain, Colm Tóibín and Philip King talking to George Lee now about culture and the Irish economy. Listen live here.

1031 Minister Varadkar said some of the criticism of the previous Forum was unfair. He said the things that have happened were implemented in the last few months as they had not been done before that.

He said the budget for the "Gathering" is between €10-16m, which will mainly be devoted to marketing. He said grants will not be handed out.

1027 Leo Varadkar tells George Lee the "Gathering" is about inviting people who love or have a connection to Ireland to come here in 2013.

He said people are being asked to invite people to come to Ireland.

He said if it works there would be a legacy that could be built upon in the future.

1020 George Lee is interviewing people attending the Global Irish Economic Forum on The Business. Listen live here.

1010 The working groups are under way at Dublin Castle.

1000 Good morning and welcome to our live text updates on the second day of the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum.

Today's focus will be on promoting Irish culture and dealing with the challenges that Ireland faces in the future.

The highlight is an address this evening by former US President Bill Clinton.

We'll be streaming two sessions today: The first is 'Promoting Irish Culture: Building on the Progress since Farmleigh' at 11.30am.

The panellists include Jimmy Deenihan TD, actor Gabriel Byrne, Helen Lambert of Lambert & Associates, comedian and tv presenter Dara Ó Briain, and author Colm Tóibín.

The second, 'Ireland and the Global Irish in the 21st Century - Working Together To Meet The Challenges of the Future', is at 5pm.

Speakers are Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Bill Clinton, Declan Kelly of Teneo, and Willie Walsh of British Airways.

All times for the streaming of the sessions are approximate.