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IDA Chief Executive Says Ireland ‘Can’t Live’ Without Foreign Workers

Dublin: Michael Lohan, the Chief Executive of the IDA, asserted that Ireland’s reliance on foreign workers is indispensable for the nation’s vitality. Lohan highlighted the significance of maintaining an open labour market, as multinational companies choose to establish their presence in Ireland due to the welcoming environment for foreign workers. Reflecting on insights gained at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Lohan underscored the necessity of not only attracting but also safeguarding foreign workers.

The economic well-being of Ireland is intricately tied to its ability to attract a diverse workforce. While the country has witnessed anti-immigration protests and incidents such as fires, executives from multinational companies remain unfazed. Their confidence in Ireland’s openness and stability fuels their commitment to the nation.

Lohan stressed the responsibility of upholding Ireland’s reputation for a diverse culture and workforce during discussions at the World Economic Forum. Notably, she pointed out that, in the talks with various heads of state, Ireland’s diverse workforce was acknowledged, clarifying that concerns and protests mainly revolved around refugees rather than foreign workers.

Minister Pascal Donohoe acknowledged the awareness of multinational companies regarding anti-immigrant protests and the Dublin riots in November. However, he emphasized that the feedback received from company representatives indicates that Ireland continues to be perceived as an open country. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar acknowledged the absence of a fundamentally racist sentiment in Ireland but acknowledged the existence of a segment that views immigrants through a lens of racism.

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