The Connemara region has received a potential €2 million economic boost after it was announced the region was selected over other EU deprived areas to become the world’s first Local Digital Economy (LDE).
The EU initiative will result in a group of officials arriving in Clifden next week to create the LDE and will be working in conjunction with the Clifden Chamber of Commerce. The initiative is different from other EU projects in that it is starting on the ground in the Connemara area as opposed to starting in Brussels.
The primary objective will be to bring the business community of the Connemara area together and give them the tools to engage more effectively in social media, to give retailers the opportunity to compete globally on-line with the likes of Amazon and other online giants.
In the run-up to Christmas many retailers in West Connemara felt that they were now competing with multinational retailers selling on-line and that the competition had now become global as opposed to local. The announcement was welcomed by Brian Hughes, Chairman of the Clifden Chamber of Commerce who believes it will open up Connemara business for anyone.
“The Connemara LDE will fundamentally change the Connemara economy. Up to this we have had to rely too heavily on a 13 - 15 week tourist season. We decided, in this era of recession and austerity, that we had to find a way to use what we have better. We need to be open for business for anyone, anywhere, at any time who wants to buy Connemara products and services. That is what the Connemara Local Digital Economy will allow us to do in 2012 and beyond,” he said.
The Connemara LDE aims to deliever a fully integrated suite of the latest digital and electronic commerce technologies, marketing and sales systems, training courses, social activity support and student educational programs to Connemara Businesses and Social organizations.
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