Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa looks to strengthen business ties with South Dublin

Mayor Bob Buckhorn listens while South Dublin Mayor Sarah Holland speaks to the media on the results of a trade mission to Dublin on Tuesday.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Mayor Bob Buckhorn listens while South Dublin Mayor Sarah Holland speaks to the media on the results of a trade mission to Dublin on Tuesday.

TAMPA— It has been only eight months since city and business leaders embarked on an initial trade mission to South Dublin. Since then at least three Irish companies have made exploratory trips to Tampa to scout the market and meet with local business leaders.

This week, the business relationship between the two is being further cemented with a return visit from the Irish city.

A trade delegation of 14 business and political leaders, including South Dublin Mayor Sarah Holland, arrived Monday evening in Tampa for a tour of the city that will last through Thursday. It will include meetings with business, political and tourism leaders, tours of higher education campuses and a meeting with Strategic Property Partners, the firm spearheaded by Tampa Bay Lighting owner Jeff Vinik.

"This is a great reality that South Dublin saw the connection and wanted to come here as quickly as they did and learn about us," said Bob Rohrlack, president and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. "This is a fast-growing relationship, which we're very happy about."

No firm business contracts have arisen from the trade missions so far but among the firms checking out Tampa are Crowe Howarth, Chartered Accountancy and Business Advisory practice, Guinness Enterprise Center, an innovation hub, and Meditec, a medical technology firm.

"That's only in a matter of months so you can see the level of energy and momentum that is already there," said Shane Stephens, Consul General of Ireland.

Recent Tampa Bay trade missions have focused on Central and South America. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who often touts his Irish roots, said the Irish capital could serve as an important gateway into the European marketplace for Tampa firms.

As well as forging ties with local firms here, the South Dublin mission will be touting the advantages of doing business in Ireland.

Low corporate tax rates helped Ireland attract billions of dollars of foreign investment and became a magnet for tech companies that relocated there in the hundreds during two decades of growth prior to 2007.

It went into recession after the collapse of property values that year but its economy has recovered, according to a report by the European Commission.

"Ireland is clearly and explicitly one of the very best destinations for any American company that wants to reach the 500 million consumers in the European Union," Stephens said.

Future trade missions for Tampa leaders could include another visit to Ireland to try and add Irish airline Aer Lingus to the airlines that fly from Tampa International Airport, Buckhorn said. There could also be trips to Japan and China in the next 12 months.

"I want Tampa to plant its flag across the globe and not just be restricted to Central and South America because we speak Spanish," Buckhorn said. "We can do better than that."

Contact Christopher O'Donnell at codonnell@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3446. Follow @codonnell_Times

Tampa looks to strengthen business ties with South Dublin 05/31/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Senator: American student arrested in China has been freed

    World

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday.

    Guthrie McLean was detained for reportedly injuring a taxi driver after the driver physically attacked McLean’s mother.
  2. Tampa-based makeup artist disqualified from contest over pro-Trump post

    News

    WICHITA, Kan. — A makeup artist who splits her time between Tampa and Kansas says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later disqualified because of an Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.

    Gypsy Freeman won the contest with this image posted to Instagram. [@facesofgypsy on Instagram]
  3. Flesh-eating bacteria nearly kills Florida man who thought he just had blisters from a hike

    Health

    Wayne Atkins thought little of the blisters he had gotten while hiking. He was trekking up and down the 4,500-foot-high Mount Garfield in New Hampshire - a 10-mile round trip - and blisters were no surprise.

    Wayne Atkins thought his blisters were from hiking, but the flesh eating bacteria nearly killed him. [YouTube]
  4. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116
  5. White House offers muddled message on Russia sanctions legislation

    National

    WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday that the Trump administration supports new legislation to punish Russia for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its aggression toward Ukraine.

    President Donald Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford  at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, July 22, 2017. [New York Times]