I thank Deputy Crowe for the question.
Shannon Airport is a really important infrastructure asset for foreign direct investment, FDI, and indigenous enterprise in Ireland.
As part of IDA Ireland's current strategy, it is proposed to target 76 new investments for the mid-west region in the period between now and 2024. The FDI performance in the region has been consistent over the past five years with employment by IDA Ireland clients increasing by almost 30%.
The mid-west is now recognised as a global cluster location of choice for advanced manufacturing, including both life science and semiconductor manufacturing multinationals. With the completion of the Advanced Manufacturing Centre in the National Technology Park this value proposition is further enhanced.
Additionally, the Future Mobility Campus Ireland based in the Shannon Free Zone, which I had the pleasure to visit a few months ago, is home to several existing IDA Ireland clients with activities linked to smart mobility. The continued development of the connected and autonomous mobility sector is positive with great companies, such as General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, and recent investments from Exida and Renovo benefitting the mid-west region.
IDA Ireland will continue to engage with multinational online selling and distribution companies as part of their strategy to attract investment. Several IDA Ireland client companies manage supply chain and distribution from Ireland already, including DHL and DB Schenker which have operations in Shannon.
The mid-west has also developed a strong professional services and technology ecosystem including companies like Dell, Extreme Networks, Fiserv, IQEQ and Waystone.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce was formally established on 21 April 2022 following an open expression of interest. We have our regional enterprise plan for the region as well.
The work programme for the task force is focused on an assessment of the strategic strengths and potential areas of opportunity for the Shannon Estuary across four sectors, including transport, logistics and connectivity, which is the matter the Deputy is raising. This strand is looking at interconnectivity, sustainable transport, innovation and development, and alternative fuel sources such as synthetic aviation fuels, as well as the potential for the Shannon Estuary region to be developed as a logistical hub, serving not just the region but the entire country.