Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Foreign Direct Investment
197. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which he remains satisfied that Ireland remains attractive as a location for foreign direct investment; if there has been any fluctuation in the position of Ireland in that regard in recent months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8972/21]
COVID-19 has presented challenges to our ongoing efforts to sustain and grow foreign direct investment in Ireland. The introduction of travel restrictions has disrupted the way in which IDA Ireland engages with investors, resulting in fewer site visits and client meetings. The pandemic has impacted investor confidence and has likely caused some investment decisions to be delayed or postponed. Nevertheless, IDA Ireland's results for 2020 demonstrated the ongoing resilience of our FDI base. IDA Ireland secured 246 investments in 2020, 128 of which were outside Dublin. 95 new name companies invested in Ireland for the first time.
The second significant challenge which we have faced is Brexit. IDA Ireland has been working hard with its client base to help mitigate Brexit-related risks that could impact on foreign direct investment in Ireland. The Agency has consistently sought out opportunities to attract further Brexit-related investment to Ireland, resulting in 95 Brexit-related investments with an associated jobs potential of 5,900. Furthermore, IDA Ireland has taken steps to diversify its source markets for foreign direct investment, restructuring its European operations to treat the UK as a separate market. It will also deploy additional resources in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
We recognise that the global competition for FDI is intensifying and that we will have to fight, harder than ever before, for new investment projects. IDA Ireland's new strategy will guide its response to these challenges. The Strategy is built on the five pillars of Regions, Growth, Transformation, Sustainability and Impact, and it has an ambitious set of targets including 800 investments and 50,000 new jobs.
Overseas companies continue 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.
I am confident that multinationals will continue to locate or expand further in Ireland in the years ahead.