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BUSINESS IRELANDAutumn 2009

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Rick Kelley, Head of European SMB Sales, Facebook is discussing the power of digital media as a profitable business tool.Sept 11 at 12:17 Comment Like

Aengus McClean, Vice President, AOL Global Operations What about the bottom line - will social media actually deliver the revenue stream?Sept 11 at 12:33

Ronan Harris, Online Sales and Operation Manager, Google What insight can we gain from analysing search trends?Sept 11 at 12:42

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Mike Roche, Chief Architect, IBM Can social networking improve a company's efficiency from within?Sept 11 at 12:56

Richard Delevan, Managing Director, McConnells Digital How can we cope with constant change on the web?Sept 11 at 13:08

LISBON: YES FOR BUSINESS | HOW TO SECURE CREDIT | 12 BUSINESS ANNIVERSARIES

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Convention Centre Dublin celebrates minus one anniversaryWith building progressing well on the Convention Centre Dublin, a one year-out anniversary was held by the Centres organisers during September. Due to open in September 2010, the Convention Centre Dublin has been designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Kevin Roche. It will be able to accommodate 3,040 delegates in the forum on level one, while an auditorium on the buildings upper levels has the capacity to fit 2,000 delegates. More than 20 multi-purpose meeting rooms over 4,500 metres of floor space are also incorporated in the design. The Convention Centre is expected to create up to 250 full-time equivalent jobs and up to 300 part-time positions when open. According to Government estimates, the business tourism generated by the Convention Centre will indirectly support over 2,000 Irish jobs. The Centres first booking (a major medical conference planned for 2011) was secured as early as 2007.

Commission on Taxation proposes mixed bag of reformsThe Commission on Taxation has produced a significant report with several recommendations for achieving a more sustainable tax system. The proposed reforms include the introduction of water charges for domestic use, and that state properties, third level and professional institutions, accommodation providers, and agricultural buildings be made taxable for commercial rates. Dublin Chamber Chief Executive Gina Quin, while welcoming these proposals, expressed disappointment with the Commissions call for an annual tax on privately-owned housing based on any owners self-assessment of their propertys value. Specifically, Quin said that applying such a tax on a national rather than a local basis would only support inefficient local government. It is usually the case that property taxes are local, as they are linked to local services. The Commissions recommendation separates this linkage and will end up punishing those living in urban areas, where it is more cost-effective for local authorities managing services, noted Quin. We believe that the property tax rate should be set by each local authority. Therefore, they will be accountable directly to local taxpayers for what they collect and then how they spend it. The more efficient they are in running their local authority and providing the services needed by local taxpayers, the lower that rate could be. This linkage of revenue to services will make the tax system truly sustainable.

InterTradeIreland announces new funding recipientsCross-border enterprise development agency InterTradeIreland recently announced the latest round of investment under its Innovia programme, designed to help companies form cross-border partnerships sharing knowledge and technical expertise. 4m was released to 12 companies in the Republic and Northern Ireland to help in their research and development work. InterTradeIreland plans to release a further 7.6m this year for other projects under the fund. For more information on the Innovia fund, visit www.intertradeireland.com/innova.

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Long-awaited bike rental scheme launchedThe bike rental scheme agreed between Dublin City Council and advertiser JC Decaux launched on September 13th. In exchange for allowing JC Decaux to place advertising billboards at strategic locations in the city, 40 bike stations have been distributed throughout the city centre inside the canal boundary. The 450 bikes involved in the scheme will be accessible on a self-service basis seven days a week, between 5am and 12.30am. Cyclists who want to avail of the scheme must purchase a long-term hire card allowing year-round use, which costs 10, or a three-day ticket for 2. The first half hour of any journey made using the bicycles is free, with service charges levied (depending on the length of the journey) thereafter. To help prevent theft of the bicycles, would-be users will need to have a 150 pre-approved charge placed on their credit cards, which will only be deducted if a bicycle is rented by a user for more than 24 hours.

Mary Coughlan TD, Tnaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment with Colm Long Head of EMEA Operations, Facebook. Picture by Jason Clarke.

Expert report casts doubt on Dublin waste infrastructurethe future of the Poolbeg incinerator remains uncertain after Ministerfor the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, who has campaigned against incineration of waste for much of his career, received a report on strategic waste management from an expert group commissioned by the department. The group advised that no more than 25 per cent of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) should be sent for incineration nationally, and proposed that local authorities should not be allowed to enter into contracts to supply BMW to incinerators. Under an agreement signed between Dublins four local authorities and Dublin Waste to Energy (the company behind the incinerator) 600,000 tonnes of waste will be burned every year at Poolbeg. Meanwhile, an August report by Forfs (Irelands national policy advisory body for enterprise and science) strongly advised against the introduction of a cap or levy on incineration until adequate alternative waste treatment facilities become operational. The body also recommended that a clearer direction be set on waste management policy, noting that the current political uncertainty had hindered private investment in waste management.

Campaign launched to attract foreign investmentTnaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, launched a major overseas marketing campaign on September 17th aimed at attracting foreign investment. The campaign, which has been developed by IDA Ireland, is designed to position Ireland as the pre-eminent location for companies who are seeking to invest in future innovation. The campaign consists of television, internet, newspaper and poster advertisements and the tagline will be: Ireland, where innovation comes naturally. The campaign is itself designed to be innovative, fresh and impactful. Each ad in the series, created by advertising agency McConnells, uses a blackboard as a backdrop to make points about Ireland and innovation, and will stress the part that the people of Ireland can play in making innovation happen. Launching the campaign, the Tnaiste said, In todays turbulent global economy, it is critically important that our international brand positions Ireland as a location for leading multinational companies to invest in their future. This campaign taps into Irelands unique selling points built around our talented and highly skilled workforce. It is aimed at opening new eyes to what Ireland has to offer.

Kraft in bid for CadburyAmerican food giant Kraft has launched a landmark takeover bid for Cadbury. Cadbury, which employs 1,100 people in Dublin, rejected an initial proposal in September valued at roughly $16bn (10.9bn). However, Irene Rosenfeld, the Chief Executive Officer of Illinois-based Kraft, said of the potential takeover that she was looking forward to a constructive dialogue with Cadbury over the coming weeks, and emphasised the attractiveness of a merger between the companies. Acquiring Cadbury, she noted, would grant Kraft a solid entry into India and give the group a more balanced geographical base. Rosenfeld forecast that long-term earnings per share at the unified company could rise to 11c a year.

Independent report urges port developmentIndecon International Economic Consultants have completed a new study on the future role of Dublin Port. The report, launched by Transport Minister Noel Dempsey, recommends that the Government should not put any policy in place that could block either the proposed development at Bremore or the expansion of Dublin Port, warning that a failure to develop Dublins port capacity would render the city unable to meet the future requirements of importers and exporters. The findings were welcomed by Dublin Chamber policy director Aebhric McGibney. There is about 10 to 15 years capacity left in Irelands existing port infrastructure, she noted. Ireland's importers and exporters need port facilities to be significantly developed to cater to their existing and future needs at a competitive price.

Christmas FM prepares for a returnIrelands first all-Christmas radio station, Christmas FM, will resume broadcasting on 29 November after receiving a 30-day licence from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI). The not-for-profit station, which raised over 35,000 for charity in 2008 (its first year of operation) will be expanding its broadcasts this year to include Cork city and the surrounding areas, raising money through sponsorship and texts requesting popular Christmas songs for the Simon Communities. For further information or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.christmasf