Bring Home the Bacon

A former employee of the Irish Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Aidan Walsh says a country’s investment promotion agency should be independent of politics and need only consult them when budget allocations are affected by an investment decision. A former employee of the Irish Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Aidan Walsh says a country’s investment promotion agency should be independent of politics and need only consult them when budget allocations are affected by an investment decision. Walsh is now a partner of accounting giant KPMG in the US. The IDA in Ireland plays the same role the local BOI does but has been more successful at attracting high quality investment.

The local body on the other hand hasn’t been able to increase investment flows to the island over the last decade.

Excerpts from the interview:

Shamindra Kulamannage: Do you think a strategy of making the economy a tax haven is a good way for Sri Lanka to attract investment?

Aidan Walsh: Sri Lanka does not need to get a reputation of a tax haven or tax shelter. It can do many things to attract major investments.

When I was at IDA Ireland had the problem of emigration about 40,000 people were leaving the country every year. The IDA looke