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1. Re-inventing the West
The Western Development Commission has been working to prioritise infrastructural development in the West. CEO Ray McGreal says that world class broadband is the most important issue to address because it is currently inhibiting growth in the West. The hope is that by addressing this as well as investing in other organisations, the WDC can improve the region for the long-term.
2. Skills gap remains in several sectors, including ICT, say two new reports
There has been an increase in the professional qualifications attained in Ireland in the past few years. There is still, however, a shortage in certain fields. The ICT, high-tech manufacturing, agri-food, sales, marketing, business, finance and healthcare areas are still experiencing a shortage of qualified workers.
Funds supported by Enterprise Ireland put €56m into 84 high growth start ups last year, which was 25% more than the year before. The investments were made under the Enterprise Ireland seed and venture capital programmes, a report on which for 2012 was launched last week.
BOI reported an 18% increase in loan approvals for SME’s for the first half of 2013. Loans worth €1.9 billion were approved during the first half, representing an 18% jump on the same period in 2012.
Ireland is now in a position to re-enter the bond markets. There may be a precautionary programme put in place once the country leaves the bailout, but the head of the National Treasury Management Agency says that the programme would be a last resort.