Business Irish

Thursday 23 March 2017

IDA-backed firms create 2,500 jobs as foreign investment rises

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Barry O'Leary CEO of IDA
Barry O'Leary CEO of IDA

IDA-SPONSORED companies added nearly 2,500 staff in the first six months of the year, it was revealed yesterday.

The figures come as Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton announced an 300 more jobs.

Belgian software company BSB and global biopharmaceutical company Sangart will both create 120 jobs, in Dublin and Carrigtwhohill, Co Cork, respectively while Dutch R&D firm Wolters Kluwer is creating 13 positions in Dublin. A further 50 vacancies have been announced at international insurer Allianz at its Parkwest, Dublin offices.

The IDA said it won 75 investments from foreign companies during the first half of 2011, up from 63 during the same period last year.

These investments helped create an estimated 4,000 jobs immediately, said IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary, but were partially offset by around 1,600 job cuts by IDA clients over the same time.

Overall, the investments would create up to 5,200 jobs in the long term, Mr O'Leary added. The figures were very similar to last year, when some 5,300 "deliverable" jobs had been created. By year-end, the IDA had helped secure 11,000 positions. In 2005 -- a peak of foreign investment in Ireland in terms of employment -- the IDA negotiated 71 investments adding 12,623 jobs.

Chairman Liam O'Mahony said the results were positive considering the macro-economic environment. "In a marketplace where foreign direct investment into the EU was down 23pc last year, it is extremely encouraging that the IDA has managed to win an increasing number of investments from overseas companies," he said.

The agency is now moving beyond the big ticket corporations, Mr O'Leary said, and is aiming to recruit more so-called "mid-tier" companies.

"Having the likes of Google, Intel, Facebook and LinkedIn is a great boost to our reputation abroad and helps immensely when we are trying to recruit companies here," he added.

Competitiveness has also improved. The cost of operating in Ireland has fallen greatly in recent years, with unit wage costs slumping 15pc since 2009, while office rents have dropped from the sixth most expensive in 2007 to 45th today.

Mr O'Leary also rejected claims that the skills shortage some business leaders have complained about could lead to multinationals pulling out.

Irish Independent

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