The Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) is a strategic development initiative in Ireland aimed at promoting economic growth, innovation, and investment along the western seaboard of the country.
The AEC concept recognizes the economic potential of the region along the Atlantic coast and seeks to capitalise on its assets and opportunities. It spans the western counties of Ireland and aims to connect and develop areas from County Donegal in the north to County Kerry in the south.
Key features and goals of the Atlantic Economic Corridor include:
- Economic Development: The AEC is focused on encouraging economic development, job creation, and increased economic activity in the western region of Ireland. It aims to harness the potential of the area's diverse industries and sectors.
- Innovation and Research: The AEC seeks to leverage the research and innovation capabilities of universities, research institutions, and businesses in the region. This includes fostering innovation hubs and technology clusters.
- Connectivity: Improving physical and digital connectivity is a priority. Investments in transportation infrastructure, such as road and rail, are being made to facilitate better connections within the region and with the rest of Ireland and beyond.
- Tourism and Cultural Promotion: The AEC acknowledges the cultural and natural assets of the western region and aims to promote tourism and cultural activities, attracting visitors and investment.
- Sustainable Development: The initiative is also committed to sustainable development, including green and renewable energy projects and environmentally responsible economic activities.
- Collaboration: The AEC encourages collaboration among stakeholders, including local authorities, government agencies, businesses, and communities, to work together to achieve these goals.
The Atlantic Economic Corridor is part of the Irish government's broader efforts to balance regional development, reduce regional disparities, and promote growth and prosperity across the country. It recognises that the western region of Ireland has untapped potential and aims to unlock it by fostering economic, social, and cultural development.
Potential reduction in bilateral trade flows between Ireland and the UK due to Brexit
What are the main industries within the Atlantic Economic Corridor?
The Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) in Ireland encompasses a range of diverse industries and sectors, reflecting the economic activities and potential of the western region of the country.
While the specific industries and sectors may vary by location within the AEC, here are some of the notable ones:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food: Much of the western region of Ireland is rural and characterised by agricultural activities. This sector includes farming, dairy production, meat processing, and food production.
- Tourism and Hospitality: The western region is known for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and historical sites, making tourism a significant industry. It includes accommodation, restaurants, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities.
- Marine and Fisheries: Given its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the AEC has opportunities in the marine sector, including fishing, aquaculture, and marine research.
- Renewable Energy: The region has great potential for renewable energy production, such as wind energy, due to its coastal location and strong winds. Renewable energy projects are a growing sector in the AEC.
- Technology and Innovation: Many universities and research institutions are located in the region, leading to growth in the technology and innovation sectors. This includes research and development, tech startups, and innovation hubs.
- Manufacturing: The AEC has a diverse manufacturing sector, including industries like pharmaceuticals, electronics, machinery, and food processing.
- Healthcare and Life Sciences: The region is home to several healthcare facilities, medical research centers, and life sciences companies.
- Education and Training: The AEC has educational institutions that offer training and education services, which contribute to the development of a skilled workforce.
- Forestry and Wood Products: Some areas within the region are known for forestry and the production of wood and paper products.
- Creative and Cultural Industries: Cultural and creative industries, including arts, crafts, design, and media, are also present in the AEC.
- Transport and Logistics: Given its location on the western seaboard, the AEC plays a role in transportation and logistics, particularly for trade and cargo movement.
- Health and Wellness: There is a growing emphasis on health and wellness, including spas, wellness centers, and related services, catering to both locals and tourists.
The development and promotion of these sectors, along with infrastructure improvements and innovation, are key components of the AEC's economic development strategy.
The goal is to create a well-rounded and vibrant economy in the western region of Ireland that leverages its unique assets and resources.