(February 25 – 2015) IDA IRELAND, the government agency responsible for attracting inward investment, has announced ambitious targets to boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ireland by over 40%, creating 80,000 new jobs in the economy over the next five years.
The ambitious targets will bring total direct employment by overseas companies in Ireland to 209,000 people by 2019. This will be the highest level of employment from overseas firms in the history of the State and will deliver wide-ranging economic benefits for the people of Ireland.
The five-year plan for Ireland’s FDI offering, entitled Winning, was unveiled today in Dublin and outlines the organisation’s high level strategic actions aimed at developing the sector further. IDA aims to win 900 individual projects over the next five years, increasing its investment target by over 40%. This will be based on an ability to respond to client’s needs efficiently, effectively and ahead of the competition.
As part of its growth strategy, IDA has committed to itself to increasing the level of investment into each region of Ireland by between 30% and 40%. IDA said by working closely with stakeholders in each region, as a cohesive team, it will be possible to achieve these goals. IDA will target the same high-level of investment Dublin has achieved over the past 5 years.
A €150m property investment plan, spread out over five years, will support the achievement of the organisation’s regional goals, the agency said. The funding will be used to upgrade Ireland’s Business and Technology parks, make investments in a number of strategic utility-intensive sites and build new advanced technology buildings in regional locations.
In relation to its global strategy, IDA said North America would remain the key source market for FDI, but it is targeting market share growth in Europe and increasing returns from regions such as Asia-Pacific. A strong emphasis in the strategy will be on bringing first time investors to Ireland from all three markets. IDA will continue to target high growth companies.
The agency also announced it is targeting a 20% increase in spending by overseas firms within Ireland, bringing expenditure to €26.8bn per annum. In particular IDA is committed to showcasing Irish industry to its client companies. A 20% increase in cumulative spend (€3bn) on RD&I is also a target of the strategy, as overseas companies place additional high value activity into Ireland.
The Chief Executive of IDA, Martin Shanahan, said: “International competition for investment has never been more intense. IDA Ireland has set ambitious investment and jobs targets for the next five-years. In order to achieve these targets, a continuation of the pro-business policies that have been employed to-date is required and we need to maintain our competitiveness. To achieve the ambitious FDI regional targets in this strategy will require the support of all regional stakeholders to help develop attractive regional offerings.”
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Multinational investment is at the heart of our jobs plan, and since taking office we have put in place a range of measures to deliver jobs growth in this area – including extra resources for IDA in overseas markets, improving our competitiveness and enhancing our tax regime. The result is that in the past four years – following several difficult years – we have seen almost 25,000 extra jobs created in foreign companies here. The impact of this is felt in lives and communities right across the country.
“In developing this new IDA strategy we had two aims in mind. Firstly to set even more ambitious national targets, and we have done that by targeting more net extra jobs per year over the next five years than even the very impressive performance in 2011-14. And secondly, in keeping with our recently announced Action Plan for Jobs, we have set highly ambitious targets for regional job creation.
“The challenge will as always be delivery. I am convinced that, between the top-class leadership in place in IDA, and the new implementation mechanisms we have put in place, Martin Shanahan and his team will deliver on these targets. This will make a major contribution to delivering our target of full employment by 2018, helping to grow tax revenues and ultimately create a better country for people to live in”.
The strategy was developed through extensive input from clients, stakeholders, the Minister for Jobs and his team, the IDA board, the executive leadership team and IDA team members. As part of this process an analysis of existing markets, sectors and new areas of potential was undertaken, as well as a thorough examination of Ireland’s value proposition for FDI.
IDA believes a range of sectors present opportunities for Ireland over the period of the strategy, including: internet of things, big data, security biometrics, smart ageing, portable services and financial technology.