Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (53)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

53. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which this country remains competitive for foreign direct investment; the extent to which any particular issues have been identified as obstacles in attracting such investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33521/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland has been, and will continue to be, an integral part of Ireland’s economic success. Foreign owned firms contribute substantially to Ireland’s exports, jobs, expenditure in the Irish economy and to Exchequer funds. FDI plays a key role in stimulating the development of new sectors in Ireland, in enhancing our research, development and innovation performance, in contributing to balanced regional development and in accelerating the achievement of critical mass within sectors.

Ireland has earned a strong reputation for being able to compete globally for FDI. The IBM Global Location Trends Report 2012 ranks Ireland as a top location in world for Inward Investment. Ireland is listed:

- First in the world for inward investment by quality and value.

- First in Europe for jobs created in Research and Development.

- First in Europe for investment in the Pharmaceutical sector.

- Second in Europe and fourth globally for the number of investment jobs per capita.

Ireland’s favourable tax regime and financial support systems for research and development underline the Government’s determination to continually enhance the country’s attractiveness to overseas companies. The Government acknowledges that ambitious national job creation targets can only be achieved with the active co-operation of a highly skilled workforce allied to world class research, development and innovation (RD&I) facilities. Today, Ireland’s advanced manufacturing technologies deliver continuous innovation and sustainable success in high-value manufacturing.

IDA Ireland has indicated that there are a number of factors which are considered by potential investors before deciding to locate here. These include:

- A pro-business and technologically advanced environment.

- An attractive corporate tax rate.

- An educated and talented workforce.

- A blend of appropriate skill sets.

- Access to world class infrastructure - road access to key cities, ports and international airports.

- A range of affordable, state-of-the-art property solutions

- A track record of success coupled with the right attitude and ambition of its people.

In seeking to win FDI, IDA constantly promotes the availability of these factors to potential investors.

Amid significant economic challenges globally and locally, IDA Ireland achieved a strong FDI performance in 2012. There were 145 individual investments, with over 40% from companies coming to Ireland for the first time. 12,722 gross job gains were generated with 6,570 net new jobs gains across a broad range of sectors. Helping FDI clients to transform their operations within Ireland has also led to a significant reduction in employment losses, producing a strong year overall. Despite this success, Ireland faces a highly competitive landscape, with notable strong competition for FDI arising from the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland, in particular. Key global markets are slowing down, particularly in Europe, which is a key focus for IDA’s existing and potential clients.

IDA Ireland has assured me, however, that there are definite opportunities for growth in the IT/technology sector, in specific areas of financial services, in life sciences, in social/digital media and in sectors where consolidation is taking place on a pan-European basis. The IDA’s global team is determined to pursue these opportunities vigorously in 2013 in order to ensure that another 132 new investment projects, which will yield another 6,000 net new jobs, are won in accordance with the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2013.