Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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51. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment the strategy changes introduced by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in view of international travel restrictions as a consequence of Covid-19. [25947/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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COVID-19 has presented undeniable challenges to our ongoing efforts to sustain and grow indigenous and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ireland. The introduction of travel restrictions around the world is already, for example, disrupting the typical way in which the IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland engages with investors, resulting in fewer numbers of site visits and client meetings.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) continues to have a travel ban in place for all staff business related travel since March 2020. All market and buyer related supports are now delivered remotely to EI clients with in-market teams supporting virtual buyer introductions and virtual market visits. Over 100 webinars have been curated and delivered by EI across all sectors in recent months sharing the latest market and customer insights directly from in-market teams.

Last week, Enterprise Ireland held their annual International Markets Week virtually and this provided the opportunity for over 700 client companies to engage directly with Enterprise Ireland in-market advisers across 40 market locations using video technology.

IDA Ireland has also migrated many of its business development and client engagement activities to digital platforms. The Agency has developed new digital content and has also put in place an E-Site Visit experience for potential investors.

Over the number of months, IDA Ireland’s focus has been on helping to protect and grow jobs within its client company portfolio through stabilisation and recovery. The Agency has worked to support to the fullest extent possible client companies throughout the pandemic and the Agency will continue to engage closely with them to help retain, transform and position them for future growth.

I am confident that Ireland will remain attractive in the long-term to international investors. Our traditional strengths – including our talented workforce and pro-enterprise policy environment – remain very much intact and valued by overseas firms. I look forward to working with the IDA on the formulation of a new strategy that will guide the Agency's work in the time ahead.

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