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Finance Minister Michael McGrath Alamy Stock Photo

Finance Minister McGrath travels to California to talk trade and meet with tech companies

Minister McGrath said he is also looking forward to meeting members of the Irish diaspora.

MINISTER FOR FINANCE Michael McGrath has travelled to the United States today on a trip that will see him visit San Francisco, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. 

The aim of the visit is to promote trade and investment between the two countries and to meet with tech companies that have a presence in Ireland, the Department of Finance said. 

The minister’s first stop is San Francisco, where he will meet with “key IDA client companies across technology, internet and pharma sectors and will participate in Enterprise Ireland engagements focused on healthcare and technology,” a statement read. 

The IDA is the State agency responsible for promoting and retaining foreign direct investment in Ireland. 

While in San Francisco, McGrath will also meet California Treasurer Fiona Ma at an event at Stanford University’s business school, as well as attending an event marking the 40th anniversary of the twinning of the Californian city with the city of Cork. 

“In Los Angeles, the Minister will focus on creative industries and on the area as a centre for innovation,” the Department said.

McGrath will be meeting with “some of the major global players in this sector, many of which have significant and growing investments in Ireland and work closely with Screen Ireland, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland”. 

Screen Ireland is the agency tasked with the development of the Irish film industry. 

Minister McGrath said he is also looking forward to meeting members of the Irish diaspora in California, where many claim Irish heritage. 

“There is so much to celebrate and so much opportunity in terms of Ireland’s links with California, where 2.3 million of its population claim Irish heritage. The focus of my visit is on deepening that relationship and helping it to grow even further,” McGrath said ahead of his departure. 

“Today, 950 U.S.-owned firms have operations in Ireland supporting close to 208,000 people. Over 290 of those companies come from the US West Coast, employing 75,000 people. Breaking this down even further, 50,000 work for Californian companies.

He said that Irish companies are “significant investors” in the US and that he hoped to strengthen the “two-way relationship” in that regard. 

“Ireland is the ninth largest source of FDI to the United States with 700 Irish companies directly responsible for employing 110,000 people across the country in all 50 states – including 25,000 in California alone,” he said. 

“Even with these already-impressive figures, I believe there is greater potential still.” 

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