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  Development Consultants  
  National Economic Impact of Shannon Ideas and Concepts
Shannon Economic Development Ideas and Europe
Shannon Impact in other parts of the Globe


 
National Economic Impact of Shannon Ideas and Concepts

Innovative Developments at Shannon that contributed to national development include:
 
Promotion of FDI: Shannon was the first gateway for the entry of export based foreign direct investment into Ireland. The positive experience of investors at Shannon led to additional FDI throughout the national economy. Today Shannon is still the largest single site concentration of foreign investment in Ireland.
 
Promotion of International Financial/IT Services: Shannon Development led the way in the 1960's in promoting international financial IT and other services. The success of these activities atr Shannon was observed by others in Ireland and overseas. The Dublin International Financial Services Centre, a kind of financial services free zone was established in 1987. It has been judged an outstanding success. IDA assisted international IT and financial services projects now employ upwards of 60, 000 or half those employed in IDA assisted companies.
 
Training Needs and Facilities: There was close co-operation from the outset between Shannon Development and the new investors. Thus Shannon Development was always Au Fait with the problems and needs of Investors. Needs included an industrial training centre to train workers in semi-skilled tasks and develop supervisory skills. A new training centre was established within the Free Zone. Later this led to the establishment of a national industrial training authority with Shannon Development's chief executive as its first chairman.
 
Industrial Parks: The Shannon free zone was Ireland's first industrial park and the experience was later applied in other population centres throughout the country.
 
Technology Development: To attract high quality investment the need for a strong technologically oriented university was recognized. The University of Limerick, Ireland's frist technological university, was established in 1973. Shannon's chief executive became its first chairman. To forge closer links between the RDA and the university, the university president was appointed to the board of Shannon Development. In 1980 one of the first Innovation Centres in Europe was developed on a site adjacent to the university campus.
 
National Technology Park and the Regional Knowledge Network: In 1984 Shannon Development in partnership with the university established the country's first technology park on a 120 ha site adjoining the campus. This concept has now been extended to create a knowledge network of five smaller technology parks and centres in peripheral locations throughout the Shannon Region.
 
Other Business Infrastructure: Over the years Shannon Development led the way in Ireland in developing other forms of business infrastructure to cater for the diverse needs of a growing number of Irish entrepreneurs. Initiatives included small industry estates; an enterprise centre network; innovation centres; business incubator units and a specialized food industry centre.
 
Tourism: Shannon Development led the way in the 1960s in developing and marketing heritage based tourism attractions such as medieval castle banquets and folk parks. In order to promote economic activity and spread the benefits of tourism to isolated rural areas, it developed the Rent an Irish Cottage scheme. Shannon Development continues to develop innovative tourist attractions in areas of the Shannon Region outside the influence of the major industrial centres. In recent years EU structural funds have been used creatively to develop new tourist products such as Kilrush Creek Marina, the Tralee Tourism cluster, Doonbeg Links golf course, Limerick Heritage precinct and other. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park established in 1963 is consistently among the country's top 3 visitor attractions.
 
Regional Planning and Development: The airport, free zone, and various tourism initiatives had a major impact on the surrounding Shannon Region. The Irish government in 1968 took the logical step of extending Shannon Development's mandate to include the wider Shannon Region. Thus Shannon Development became Ireland's first Regional Development Agency (RDA). It produced the country's first regional industrial development plan in 1969. This acted as a model for similar plans in other regions.
 
Rural Development: Shannon Development's regional responsibility led naturally to an interest in the development of rural areas. It used, and continues to use today, its tourism development and marketing expertise as well as its expertise in small industry development and its ability to innovate, to promote rural development.
 

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Shannon's economic development ideas and Europe
From an early stage developments at Shannon attracted a lot of interest in Europe

Free Zone: Britain, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Malta, the Czech Republic., Estonia, FYROM, Croatia, are among the countries to have benefitted from Shannon's expertise.
 
Special Economic Zones: The first SEZ in Mielec, Poland, was developed on the basis of a report and plan drawn up by Shannon based consultants. The SEZ programme in Latvia also benefitted from Shannon consultancy advice.
 
Duty Free Shops: Shannon International made a major breakthrough in its relationship with the former Soviet Union, and opened a series of duty free shops in Moscow airport as well as downtown Moscow and other parts of the former Soviet Union in the 1980's
 
Regional Development: The Shannon Regional development experience has been a subject of considerable interest for many European regional development agencies for the last 5 years.

“…a new economic climate has been created in the region, characterized by a remarkable entrepreneurial dynamism. This is manifest not only in technology and industry in a narrow sense, but also in the renovation of towns, adaptation of airport services and development of cultural activities”
 
OECD Report, 1987

EC Funds: The Shannon Region has been the beneficiary of European social, agricultural guidance and guarantee, structural and cohesion funds since Ireland joined the EC in 1973. Shannon executives quickly developed an expertise in securing and maximizing the use of such funds and have shared this experience with many emerging and pre-accession countries throughout Europe.
 

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Shannon Impact in other parts of the Globe

Free Zones: The Shannon free zone model has been used in many parts of the world. Taiwan (1965), Malaysia (1973), Egypt (1976), and Sri Lanka (1978) were among the first group of successful zones to benefit from Shannon advice and consultancy inputs. In the last 30 years upwards of 50 countries world-wide have benefitted from the Shannon experience. Month long training courses on free zone development were organized annually from the mid-1970's onwards, attended by representatives from 10 to 15 countries. Occasionally, special courses were organized for particular groups.
 
Special Economic Zones: The Chinese SEZ is the corner stone of the Chinese economic miracle for the last 30 years. The Chinese SEZ concept was developed following a visit to Shannon by a group of Chinese officials in 1976. When they returned to China they related their Shannon experience to Deng Xiso Ping. The discussion that followed led to the establishment of the first Chinese SEZ in 1978.
 
Duty Free Shops: The Shannon duty free shop concept has been replicated many times throughout the world. Shannon International, a subsidiary of the Shannon Airport Authority, conducts feasibility studies and operates a number of duty free shops throughout the world. The first duty free shops in Moscow and St. Petersburg were established and operated successfully by Shannon International. The Dubai duty free is one of the most successful and innovative of all duty free shops. The feasibility study for the Dubai project was conducted by the Shannon duty free , and the project has been managed since its inception by former Shannon executives
 
 
 

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Shannon International Development Consultants, Riverfront, Howleys Quay, Limerick, Ireland.
Telephone: +353 61 319708 Fax: +353 61 313124 Email: mail@sidc.ie

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