Networking: The long-awaited Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce officially launched with highly visible support from the Irish government and Luxembourg’s international community.
Photo: Luc Deflorenne
The importance of the chamber and its goals was underscored by the keynote speaker at Monday’s premiere--Eamon Gilmore, the Tánaiste, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, who equally serves as foreign affairs and trade minister.
Indeed, the chamber’s formation was in no small measure the result of the “enthusiastic” help received from Ireland’s ambassador to the Grand Duchy, Diarmuid O’Leary, ILCC chair Joseph Huggard told Delano before the event.
The chamber itself aims to provide “all kinds of members opportunities to meet, to discuss and to grow their business; that’s what a chamber of commerce is all about,” Huggard said. “We want to have both Irish and Luxembourg members, and try to create connections between the two communities.”
In addition to financial services, the chamber plans initiatives in the ICT, biotech, agriculture and tourism sectors.
By the same token, Huggard sees many commonalities between the nations. “They are both small countries, with common interests and attitudes.” He added: “One thing that certainly strikes us is the pragmatism that both countries have. In Ireland, for example, in dealing with the financial crisis, and in Luxembourg, the changes in the steel industry and how it’s broadened its economy to its interest.”
The ILCC will also strive to make its programme lively. “The Irish community is always about having a little bit of fun, so we’ll definitely have events that are a little novel or a little different, like having a sportsman coming to talk about leadership.”
More than 160 people attended the inauguration, which was held at the Hôtel Le Royal.