Ireland’s political leaders have welcomed Bill Clinton’s offer to help them beat the recession by hosting a New York summit next year to attract American investment.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny thanked the former US President for his offer and his contribution to the two day Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle.

The government will now start to plan next year’s proposed event in the States when they will look to attract direct American investment from the Diaspora and others with the help of President Clinton.


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Kenny also told the Forum that Ireland will be the first crisis hit country in the Eurozone to say goodbye to the IMF bail-out deal and return to borrowing on the international markets.

That promise was later renewed by his deputy and Minister for Foreign Affairs when he addressed the heavy hitters with the closing speech at the Dublin Castle Forum.

Minister Gilmore said: “Ireland is meeting its targets. What we have to do is get investment into this country and get jobs created.

“The scale of the challenge facing Ireland today was matched by our effort and our ambition. What matters now is that we take away the thoughts and ideas of yesterday and today and turn them into action tomorrow.”

Finance Minister Michael Noonan also outlined discussions on a cut in the commercial property stamp duty rate to persuade more American investors to move to Ireland.

Britain currently charges just one per cent stamp duty on commercial property transactions compared to six per cent in Ireland.

“Now the suggestion is that an American investor coming in to invest in Dublin, is he willing to give over his first six per cent of profit in stamp duty?” asked Minister Noonan.

“If we were thinking about changing it, now is a good time because our take on stamp duty is so low anyway. It is always at the bottom of the market that you can change things.

“Don’t take this as a commitment. But there is a problem in the commercial property market, which is controlled by NAMA. One of the big problems is that if you sell commercial property in London you pay one per cent in stamp duty. In Dublin, you pay six per cent.”