Monday 22 July 2019

Brexit presents an opportunity for Ireland to win foreign direct investment - IDA boss

Martin Shanahan, chief executive of the IDA
Martin Shanahan, chief executive of the IDA

Gavin McLoughlin in Davos

Brexit presents an opportunity for Ireland to win foreign direct investment (FDI) that would otherwise have gone to the UK, according to IDA boss Martin Shanahan.

He said that given the uncertainty surrounding the UK, companies are currently more likely to look further afield.

"We are the market for mobile investment so if multinationals decide that they need a footprint within the remaining 27, we are in the business of making sure that Ireland is the beneficiary of that," Mr Shanahan said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, adding that he didn't think this could be characterised as stealing business away from the UK.

"All investment that comes into Europe, Ireland is pitching for. We make no apologies for the fact that we are pitching for what is mobile investment.

Mr Shanahan said he'd take part in around 25 meetings and events at Davos as he seeks to win FDI.

"Part of our message is clearly that Ireland is stable, and that they can be confident investing in Ireland, and they are to be honest with you...investors believe Ireland is a very stable environment."

But he added that the atmosphere around Davos was more subdued this year compared to last. "I think there is more caution, we would detect that aside from Davos in our everyday engagements. I think there's a raft of geopolitical uncertainty around and companies are looking at that, trying to make sense of it, figure it out and see what impacts it will have on them".

He said there's a possibility global FDI will decrease this year, and if that's the case then the IDA will have to work harder to maintain the current level of investment.

The IDA is currently looking to grow the amount of investment it gets from countries other than the US, to insulate Ireland's FDI offering from any potential downturn in the US economy.

Online Editors

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