With a global diaspora estimated at almost 70 million people, the energy and accomplishments of members of Ireland’s diaspora have extended our reach and reputation in the world. New mechanisms have been developed for some of the most successful Irish people overseas to connect with Ireland, and identify ways to contribute to Ireland’s continued recovery and economic development. Following on from previous work done by our county in the diaspora arena, Louth County Council is now focusing its attention on mobilising new people, building connections and engaging with high-achievers and industry leaders from our local diaspora to benefit local and regional development. It is hoped that taking a more targeted approach to engaging with our county diaspora will benefit economic development and job creation in County Louth. Through its latest 5 year Foreign Direct Investment Action Plan 2015-2020, the Louth Economic Forum (LEF) seeks to build a stronger Louth brand as a more competitive host location for FDI. One of the main actions of the plan is to Identify and leverage the County Louth Diaspora to encourage mobile investments into the County.
County Louth is already home to a number of multi-national companies. Louth Economic Forum intends to maximize on additional investment through the Diaspora links which can be further developed with the assistance of IDA Ireland, Connect Ireland and other agencies. Louth also has a strong base of indigenous firms with international profiles providing considerable employment opportunities in the county. This successful track record provides incentives for future diaspora – focused initiatives in attracting people ’back home’. From a cultural perspective, Louth has an abundance of talent, imagination and creativity from one end of the county to the other; an unsurpassed heritage legacy and a vibrant dynamic arts life which should not be underestimated in terms of its potential to network and create additional connectivity to the benefit of the county.
Identifying who the Louth Diaspora are, where they are, what their interests and expectations are, how best to engage/communicate with them, and how they perceive the diaspora brand vision for the County will be critical to the success of the strategy.
Louth County Council is currently inviting all citizens to contribute to the Louth Diaspora strategy. There will be a series of consultation meetings with statutory partners, local development agencies and the general public in the coming weeks, where issues can be explored in more depth. The closing date for submissions is Friday November 25th. Observations can be filed via email to email@example.com or posted to Mary T Daly, Economic Development, Planning and Infrastructure, Louth County Council, Crowe Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth. A91 W20C.