Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
IDA Ireland Data
I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 and 103 together.
Ireland remains a global leader in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) with 1,444 multinational companies from over 40 countries choosing to invest here. Companies headquartered in the United States of America account for 766 of these firms. While North America remains the principal source of FDI into the country, the IDA continues to diversify its portfolio of investors here. In 2018 alone, for example, 24 investments were secured from growth markets, representing an increase of 14% on 2017.
I am particularly encouraged by the progress made by IDA Ireland in attracting first-time investors from Asian markets. Last year, for example, saw notable investments from Chinese, Indian and South Korean firms. This shows that the concerted effort that the IDA has made to target Asian investors is now producing results in terms of new jobs here on the ground in Ireland. Last month, I led a Trade and Investment Mission to Japan with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland where I attended a series of engagements with industry leaders and met with Japan's Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry. This trade mission highlighted the important work of the IDA and our enterprise agencies in deepening and broadening out trade and investment links to the Asia-Pacific region and other new markets.
While much has been accomplished in this context, the Government remains conscious of our need to continue attracting FDI from as many different countries as possible. To diversify investment here further, we need to build awareness of Ireland as a preferred investment destination in target countries, as well as improve competitiveness and consolidate Ireland’s traditional strengths in terms of talent, productivity and ease of doing business. I am confident that this approach will help boost further the number of investors here from non-traditional markets and that we will continue to see greater geographic diversity across the IDA's client portfolio. The Agency's efforts in this context are already being reinforced and supported by the Global Ireland strategy, which will build and deepen Ireland's footprint all over the world in the period up to 2025.
While we will continue to focus on strengthening FDI from growth markets, we must also not neglect the importance of our traditional source markets. Ireland's strong track record with companies from those markets - which employ tens of thousands of people across the country - has been hard-won and is the product of decades of hard work. That is why the IDA will continue to do everything possible to sustain and grow investment levels from North America and Europe while also seeking to increase investment from growth markets.