Wednesday 23 October 2019

IDA secures 13,500 jobs this year but warns 'Ireland cannot be complacent about its competitiveness'

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

Shawn Pogatchnik

THE IDA says it’s secured 13,500 jobs at 140 locations so far this year, up 19pc from 2018 – but cautions that Brexit, global trade tensions and weaknesses in Ireland’s own competitiveness could dampen growth.

In its mid-year update, Ireland’s inward investment agency said more than 80 projects and 5,300 jobs secured for Ireland since 2016 have connections to Brexit, with many financial institutions seeking to shift at least some operations away from London.

But IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan cautioned that, once the UK does withdraw from the European Union, the Brexit effect could turn negative for winning foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020.

“While the immediate outlook to year end 2019 looks positive, there are significant downside risks to FDI in the medium term,” he told reporters in a briefing at IDA headquarters.

“These include the potential softening of growth in the global economy, the impacts of Brexit within Europe, escalating International trade tensions, and Ireland’s own competitiveness.”

He highlighted recent FDI wins in regions outside Dublin, often a difficulty as Ireland seeks to woo multinationals to every corner of Ireland. These include:

  • Meissner with 150 jobs in Castlebar
  • Valeo investing 44m euro and creating 50 jobs in Tuam
  • GrandPad opening a European HQ in Gorey and creating 75 jobs
  • JRI America adding 100 jobs at its Tralee technology centre
  • Allergan creating 63 jobs in Westport
  • J&J Visioncare with 100 jobs in Limerick.

Mr Shanahan said that unless Ireland maintains discipline on providing value to multinationals, “we will not continue to see these investment numbers, it’s as simple as that.

“Ireland cannot be complacent about its competitiveness,” he said. “There needs to be a continued relentless focus on competitiveness and IDA Ireland will continue to work with Government to ensure that those areas prioritised by investors are addressed.”

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