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Greater Seattle Hosts the Irish Prime Minister, Looking to Grow Ireland-Washington State Tech Relations

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Greater Seattle Hosts the Irish Prime Minister, Looking to Grow Ireland-Washington State Tech Relations

Posted on Nov 10 by Dylan Curran

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Greater Seattle Hosts the Irish Prime Minister, Looking to Grow Ireland-Washington State Tech Relations

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Prime Minister, praised the connections between Ireland and Greater Seattle during a luncheon at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. Ireland is “keen to deepen [their] relations with cities like Seattle, and states like Washington,” the Prime Minister said in a statement to Geekwire. The Prime Minister visited Amazon and Microsoft headquarters during his brief trip as the two companies continue to expand data center operations in Ireland.

Dublin has emerged as a hotspot in recent years for U.S. companies, opening international offices and operations on the ‘emerald isle’. Much like Greater Seattle, Dublin boasts an impressive supply of highly skilled tech talent, quickly transforming the Irish capital into a European tech hub.

Microsoft, which has already built three data centers in Dublin for €800 million, announced in May of last year that they would expand on this, spending another €900 million to build four more. In September, the Irish Times reported that Amazon began the first phase of a new €900 million data center in Dublin that will run on renewable energy.

Ireland, whose emerging tech prowess in Dublin draws many parallels to that of the Greater Seattle region, wants to see an expansion of bilateral relations and investment. The Prime Minister highlighted that trade between Greater Seattle and Ireland was “a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship”.

In recent years, 20% of U.S. Investment in Europe arrived in Ireland surging to a record $58.1 billion in 2014 and putting total US investment in Ireland at $310 billion. Of the top 25 customers of Washington State exports, Ireland is number twelve according to the US Census Bureau.