Thursday 30 March 2017

IDA aiming to attract 105,000 jobs

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRELAND aims to create 105,000 new jobs through foreign direct investment over the next four years but the country will face more pain along the way, according to the chief executive of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA).

Barry O'Leary, CEO of the IDA, said that while the country was recovering its competitive edge, some Ireland-based multi-nationals had excess capacity around the world.

It was inevitable that some of this excess capacity would be in Ireland, he said.

Mr O'Leary was outlining a new IDA plan for attracting foreign investment to the Oireachtas Committee for Enterprise Trade and Employment.

The plan, known as "Horizon 2020", sets out the IDA's targets for luring fresh foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland over the next decade. It calls for 62,000 jobs in direct FDI employment and an overall total of 105,000 new jobs.

It also aims to attract 640 new foreign direct investments, 50pc of which are to be located outside Dublin and Cork. Investment in research, development and innovation (RDI) is to top €1.7bn. These targets are to be achieved by 2014.

As part of the Horizon 2020 plan, the IDA will target specific industries and specific sectors for recruitment to Ireland. Mr O'Leary did not reveal those sectors, citing competition with other countries.

Research

According to Mr O'Leary, multi-national corporations (MNC) employ over 240,000 people; contributing nearly 50pc in corporation tax and over 70pc in research and development. This results in a contribution of over €19bn in total spend by FDI in the Irish economy.

Leo Varadkar, the Fine Gael spokesman on Trade and Employment, criticised the plan, describing a 10-point initiative outlined by the IDA to help achieve its targets as "old hat" and something "we know already".

Mr O'Leary, however, did not accept that the 10-point initiative was nothing new, citing the moving of focus to companies that are coming to serve the domestic market rather than companies with no tangible business interest in Ireland.

Deputy Varadkar also called for a greater emphasis by the IDA on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries and the emerging markets in general. China is set to overtake the United States as the largest economy in the world and the deputy queried why there were six IDA offices in the US but only five in the emerging economies.

Irish Independent

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