Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ceisteanna (37)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

37. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if she is satisfied with the level of investment and IDA visits to County Meath in 2018; and if she is further satisfied with the level of investment specifically in the IDA parks in County Meath. [4433/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Regional development remains an absolute priority of mine. I am focused on both supporting and sustaining existing employment levels in regional Ireland while also working to create new economic opportunities and jobs in every county of Ireland. I am pleased to say that total employment in IDA Ireland's client companies now stands at 229,057, with 58% of all IDA employment outside of Dublin. This represents the highest number of people employed by IDA clients outside of Dublin in the history of the organisation. The last 12 months have seen more IDA jobs added in the regions than at any time over the past 17 years. 

I am pleased to say that County Meath has seen a 4% increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) employment in the last year. There are now 19 IDA-supported client companies in the County employing 1,632 people. These firms are continuing to grow and develop. Last year, for example, saw PCI Pharma announce that 50 new jobs will be created at their facility in Stamullen. This represented a vote of confidence in what Meath and the broader Mid-East region has to offer to multinationals who are looking to locate outside of Dublin. Meath continues, in particular, to maintain a strong contingent of overseas firms in the Financial Services, Manufacturing and Biotechnology sectors with key clients such as ArcRoyal, International Fund Services and Alltech performing well in the County.

IDA Ireland continues to draw the attention of investors considering locating or expanding to Meath and the broader Mid-East region.  This is reflected in IDA site visit statistics for the County. As of the third quarter of 2018, for example, Meath has hosted five site visits compared to three site visits in 2017. The IDA also owns lands in County Meath which are being actively marketed to its clients through its network of offices in Ireland and overseas. The Agency will keep the property situation in Meath under review to help ensure that companies can find the facilities or buildings they need in order to generate new jobs and investment.

While progress has been made in helping to generate new economic opportunities in County Meath, the Government remains determined to achieve more. That is why work is continuing to unlock further the economic potential of the County. The IDA remains pivotal to this and the Agency is engaging with its clients and with other enterprise agencies to create jobs and source new investment there.