I have been informed by IDA Ireland that as part of its ongoing operational management they have recently committed to undertake a review of the property offerings in Castlebar in regard to its suitability for marketing to FDI clients. This work has not yet commenced but as part of the process, the Property Division of IDA Ireland will firstly assess the potential of the current property stock available in Castlebar. Following this, they will examine whether this stock matches the expectations and demands from FDI companies and whether constructing any new capacity would be likely to make a difference to the site selection decisions of FDI companies. In this connection I should point out that under legislation, IDA Ireland is independent in the exercise of its property function.
The Action Plan for Jobs 2014 includes a commitment to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of the enterprise development agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprises. My intention is that the framework will be developed on a pilot basis initially, focusing on the Midlands region, and involving the agencies under the remit of my own Department – Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. The objective is to enhance synergies between the agencies and their client companies and build on the competitive strengths of the region to maximise the potential for job creation. The role which other public bodies in the region can play in working towards this objective will also be examined as the project develops. The aim is that this framework will serve as a model for other regions of the country.
2014 is the fifth and final year in IDA Ireland’s current strategy "Horizon 2020" which has been in place since 2010. A new strategy for the next five-year period 2015-2020 will have to be formulated during 2014. To assist in the task of formulating a new strategy and in order to ensure that Ireland can continue to compete globally for foreign direct investment, I have asked Forfás to undertake an in depth analysis of our FDI strategy, in light of a changing global environment. This analysis, which is currently a work in progress, will take account of factors such as key trends emerging in FDI best practice internationally, Ireland’s strengths in attracting FDI and the 2014 to 2020 Regional Aid guidelines, which will come into effect on 1 July 2014. The results of this analysis, along with the Regional Enterprise Framework will form the basis of IDA Irelands strategy for the next five-year period.