Business

Saturday 20 October 2018

IDA boss issues warning about Ireland's ability to attract foreign direct investment

IDA boss Martin Shanahan
IDA boss Martin Shanahan
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

IDA boss Martin Shanahan has issued a stark warning about Ireland's ability to attract vital foreign direct investment.

Mr Shanahan said Ireland is facing the most competitive environment for some time and that some US businesses have been slower to make decisions about investing here because of Donald Trump's policies.

“We have seen a slowing of decision making coming out of the US and our read of that is that US companies are taking stock. They are looking at the new tax rules which they’re now subject to in the US, and they are, as one company put it to me, running the numbers again to see what that now throws out in the context of the new tax regime.

The IDA is the body responsible for encouraging foreign investment into Ireland.

“We see all countries large and small vying for these investments. We see them all improving their offering in multiple different ways,” Mr Shanahan said.

“We also see some moderation in investment into Europe given what’s going on in the world. So as well as being a very competitive environment the amount of foreign direct investment to be won may moderate into the future.”

Mr Shanahan was speaking as the IDA announced strong results for the first half of the year, with the number of projects won increasing to 139 from 114.

But he said Ireland “cannot be complacent” about maintaining its competitiveness. That comes after Ireland slid down the rankings in a recent international competitiveness report.

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