Business Irish

Sunday 27 May 2018

Enda Kenny unveils State's new trade and investment strategy - but measures aren't new

Enda Kenny and Theresa May in Downing Street in July. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Enda Kenny and Theresa May in Downing Street in July. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has unveiled the State’s new trade and investment strategy, but admitted many of the stated ambitions have already been announced.

Two of the objectives were announced as far back as 2015.

The document – published in the context of Brexit and the potential changes to the US tax landscape -  lists eight ambitions, two of which were specifically announced in Enterprise Ireland’s new strategy in January.

One is detailed in the IDA’s 2015 – 2019 strategy, one was contained in a tourism strategy unveiled in January 2015, and a fifth one, related to increasing the numbers of international students coming here, was announced last October.

Mr Kenny launched the document this morning flanked by three of his ministers – Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Transport Minister Shane Ross.

The Taoiseach denied the document was a rehash, but accepted the measures weren’t new.

“Repetition is the mother of learning,” he said.

“This is not a rehash. We have already mentioned many of these objectives before - no harm to keep them in focus.”

The strategy – produced jointly by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation – cobbles together the targets of a number of state agencies into one document.

Its ambitions include increasing indigenous exports, including food, to reach €26bn by 2020, generating 30,000 more jobs in tourism by 2020 and €5bn in overseas tourism revenues by 2025, securing 900 new foreign direct investments in the period 2015-2019 and increasing international student numbers by 27pc to reach 176,500 by the academic year 2019/2020.

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