Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Question 139: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the action she has taken or proposes to take to encourage foreign direct investment in jobs here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7532/09]
In relation to manufacturing and internationally traded services, IDA Ireland is the agency with statutory responsibility for the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland and its regions. IDA's main focus on securing investment from new and existing clients is in the areas of High End Manufacturing, Global Services (including Financial Services) and Research, Development and Innovation. In addition IDA is focusing on new sectors such as Clean Tech, Services Innovation and Convergence. IDA is confident that there are further FDI opportunities for Ireland in these key sectors, which will be augmented in the future by a number of emerging technologies and new business models.
IDA has developed a strong base of existing clients, which make a significant contribution to the wealth generation and development of the Irish Economy. Furthermore, these companies have had a positive impression in Ireland and this provides a solid basis for future growth. IDA continues to work with its existing client base to deepen and further embed their investments in Ireland. It has an active programme of engagement with clients to identify and target new investment opportunities from these clients.
Ireland is now seen by the global business environment as a prime location for Research Development and Innovation functions. IDA has played a key role in establishing this competitive advantage for Ireland and is heavily involved with all stakeholders in the RD&I space. The increase in the R&D tax credit available to companies, which was announced in the Budget last December, will increase Ireland's attractiveness as a location for R&D activity and will provide a well-targeted stimulus for such value-added activities. R&D in Ireland has expanded dramatically in recent years reflecting the Irish government's massive injection of funding into the sector.
In an effort to drive business development and secure further foreign direct investment, IDA has recently undertaken a number of initiatives including a 10% shift in resources from non-business generation to business generation. The Agency has opened new offices in the United States and, from within existing resources, has expanded by 20% the number of its people in the United States and has deployed extra resources in London and Frankfurt.
In an effort to diversify the source of foreign direct investment, IDA opened a new office in Mumbai last year to target Indian investment. At the same time the Agency continues to explore opportunities to market Ireland for FDI in emerging economies in areas such a China, Russian Federation and Brazil. In addition the Agency continues to provide novel and tailored property solutions to prospective investors through its strategic sites initiative and by the development of business parks throughout the country.
Despite the credit crunch, Ireland has continued to attract significant high end FDI. In 2008 there was a 14% increase over the previous year in the number of investments secured. IDA remains guardedly optimistic of Ireland's ability to continue attracting high level of FDI in 2009 and beyond. In fact, 2009 has shown some success already with a number of new investments won that have a potential to create 200 jobs.