Dáil debates

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Other Questions

Industrial Development

10:20 am

Photo of Mick WallaceMick Wallace (Wexford, Independent) | Oireachtas source

The Minister quoted figures for the south east but those relating to Wexford itself are dramatically worse. We have a major problem in that we are very dependent on foreign direct investment for any kind of manufacturing jobs. This is because successive Governments have failed to invest in indigenous industry for many years. In the lifetime of the current Administration, Wexford has been the subject of five IDA Ireland-sponsored visits involving potential investors, whereas some 59 visits have been made to Waterford and 710 to Dublin. Obviously, the population of Dublin is eight times that of Wexford but the number of IDA Ireland-sponsored visits from potential investors to the capital has been 140 times greater.

The Minister indicated that rather than considering the position in the context of counties, he is instead looking at the strengths and opportunities that exist in each region. If such strengths and opportunities do not exist in Wexford, is the Government going to do anything with regard to changing the position? Can Wexford be transformed into a place to which foreign direct investors might be interested in locating their business? Our dependence of foreign direct investment is far too great and we do not really seem to be able to tell those making such investment where they should locate their operations. On most occasions, many of these companies do not seem to be prepared to locate at places outside a 45 mile radius of Dublin, Cork or Shannon airports. Is it not time that the Government invested in indigenous industry in order that it would have direct control over where such industry might be located? If it did so, the Government would be able to operate independent of the whim of foreigners.


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