Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment

Foreign Direct Investment

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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41. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment the extent to which he remains satisfied that Ireland remains attractive as a location for foreign direct investment; if in recent months there has been a fluctuation in Ireland's position in that regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30550/20]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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80. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment the extent to which the State is experiencing increasing competition for foreign direct investment; the degree to which the State continues to achieve in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30872/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 80 together.

COVID-19 has presented undeniable challenges to our ongoing efforts to sustain and grow 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 engages with investors, resulting in fewer numbers of site visits and client meetings. The pandemic has also impacted investor confidence and has likely caused some investment decisions to be delayed or postponed.

Notwithstanding these challenges, which are also faced by our competitor countries, IDA Ireland's results for the first six months of this year have demonstrated the resilience of our FDI base. The Agency has secured over 130 investments to date in 2020, which have the potential to create almost 10,000 jobs. Almost half of these new projects were secured for locations outside Dublin, with 53 investments from companies investing in Ireland for the first time.

I believe that these 2020 investments reflect our continuing attractiveness to overseas firms. Overseas companies continue, the evidence would suggest, to value our FDI strengths. These include our talented and flexible work-force, a track record as a successful home to global businesses and a hard-won reputation as a pro-enterprise jurisdiction. Our continued commitment to the European Union, the single market and Eurozone, as well as to free trade and multilateralism, are other key selling points that help us convince multinational companies to establish operations and create jobs here.

At the same time, we do recognise that the global competition for FDI is intensifying and we are under no illusions that the time ahead will prove more challenging. We will have to fight, harder than ever before, for new investment projects and the jobs that go with them. I look forward, as Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, to taking on that challenge. This will include 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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