Deputies will be aware that the review of industrial performance drew attention to the increasing use of equity by the IDA in assisting companies. Measures are being adopted whereby up to 50 per cent of financial supports from IDA to medium/large indigenous industry will be in the form of equity or other remunerating forms of aid. There has also been an improved flow of equity into Irish industry through the business expansion scheme, private venture capital, the smaller companies market, and the Irish Stock Exchange generally. These factors lessen the justification for a separate State agency mandated to promote equity investment, particularly given the scope for further rationalisation of the industrial development agencies identified in the review.
As a consequence, it has been decided that the activities of NADCORP should be amalgamated with those of the IDA. This is considered to be the best method of providing a more cohesive and integrated approach to State equity investment in enterprise. The Government will maintain and intensify the current practice whereby IDA takes equity in industry, and will continue to support projects which add to commercially viable jobs and manufacturing activity in Ireland. IDA's strategic use of equity, grants and industry knowledge to provide a tailored package of support for long term development can be a very useful tool leading to the development of strong internationally competitive Irish based companies and consequent employment growth.