Editorial: Intel's €3.5bn upgrade a timely boost for country
As the country emerges blinking into a post-troika world it must be heartening, especially in these troubled political times, for the powers that be to hear Ireland praised for its "business-friendly climate, fabulous employees, skilled workers and stable investment environment".
Is that the country we know and love so well? Maybe not to the cynics, but such are the words of Renee James, the head of Intel, a multinational microchip maker which came to Leixlip, Co Kildare, 25 years ago and now employs 4,500 people. Ms James is not spouting platitudes, but putting her 'money where her mouth is' with a €3.5bn investment in the company's Irish campus, an ongoing upgrade, the details of which were revealed yesterday. It is the largest ever private investment in an Irish company and clearly a vote of confidence in the future here.
This upgrade has been ongoing for the last three years, but the company hasn't been 'shouting about it' as it seeks to reposition itself in the microchip market, which is shifting dramatically from the personal computer (PC) to handheld or 'wearable' devices. In that sense Leixlip is now a 'leading-edge plant' in the company's worldwide network.