Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Questions (147)

James Browne


147. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA visits to counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46854/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

Regional development remains a key priority of mine as Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Together with my Department and its enterprise Agencies, I am focused on strengthening investment and job creation all over the country. In 2018, 56% of all net new jobs created by IDA Ireland were in locations outside Dublin. Similarly, every region in Ireland, including the South-East region, posted net gains in jobs last year.

When it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI), site visits do represent a valuable tool through which investors can be encouraged to invest in regional areas. However, as I have said before, site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant percentage of all new FDI comes from existing IDA client companies. In 2018, there were three site visits to County Wexford while Carlow and Kilkenny hosted seven and five site visits respectively. Site visits to these counties are trending in the right direction with four site visits to Wexford, seven site visits to Carlow and 12 site visits to Kilkenny as of the third quarter of this year.

The overall outlook for FDI is positive for Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny. In 2018, there was a 5% increase in employment by IDA client companies in Wexford with 152 net new jobs added last year. Carlow has witnessed a 31% increase in FDI employment with 275 net new jobs added last year. While there were no new FDI-supported jobs created in Kilkenny in 2018, it is encouraging to note a number of recent announcements by Security Risk Advisors and AB Agri with both companies planning to create 50 new jobs each.

While progress has been made in helping to generating new investment in Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, the Government remains determined to attract more FDI to the South-East region. The work of the IDA is obviously key in that respect and the Agency's staff will continue engaging with its clients, as well as the other enterprise agencies, to help create more jobs and economic opportunities.