Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Economic Policy

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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243. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which he and his Department have identified the most likely springboard for economic recovery in the wake of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44611/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The National Economic Plan will set out the Government’s policy objectives for economic recovery post Brexit and Covid-19 and a pathway and to shape and build a renewed economy for the future.

A two-pronged approach will be pursued to underpin economic recovery encompassing a renewed focus on domestic SMEs, which is critical to a broad-based jobs-led economic recovery, whilst leveraging the enormous strength and potential of the Foreign Direct Investment sector.

Boosting productivity and international competitiveness in Irish businesses and accelerating the diversification of Irish exports as they adapt to a changed environment after Brexit will be required. Seizing opportunities arising from decarbonisation and technological development will also be paramount. An SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan will be published shortly which will help to inform policy in driving internationalisation, productivity, and digitalisation and employment opportunities.

Enterprise Ireland’s Strategic framework will include a range of actions to strengthen Irish enterprise, including actions to drive transformational change and the pace of innovation and scale and grow the export and start-up base. Similarly, the new forthcoming IDA Ireland Strategy for 2021-2024 and a revised trade strategy, will seek to bolster FDI and trade, with associated economic impacts.

A competitive business environment to underpin Ireland’s attractiveness as a location to do business encompassing a conducive tax environment, cost competitiveness, and availability and diversity of finance options for businesses will play an important part in economic recovery. Investment in R&D to drive enterprise innovation and adoption of digital and other new technologies will also to underpin enterprise goals around productivity, export growth and diversification. Digital transformation of the manufacturing sector and its supply chain will drive national productivity gains and underpin sustainability of high-quality jobs and export-led economic growth.

Education and skills will be central to recovery ensuring that workers, particularly young people and those whose jobs are impacted by structural changes to the economy and labour market and are empowered to prosper in a changing world.


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