Friday 20 April 2018

IDA site visits soar by 57pc as Dublin dominance wanes

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary
Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary

Gordon Deegan

The number of IDA-sponsored visits by overseas investors last year soared by 57pc to 565.

New figures released by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton show that  the number of IDA visits rose by 206 from 359 to 565 last year.

The figures show that the dominance of Dublin on the list waned significantly as the IDA oversaw a much greater geographical spread in site visits last year.

In 2014, Dublin accounted for 57pc or 205 of the 359 site visits - last year, the 242 site visits to Dublin represented 43pc of the overall total.

The figures also show that the number of counties completely by-passed by overseas investors dropped sharply last year.

In 2014, there were no IDA sponsored visits to Laois, Longford, Monaghan and Roscommon. Only Cavan was bypassed last year.

The figures show that Cork received the second-highest amount with 48 site visits, followed by 41 to Galway and 40 to Limerick.

In a written Dail reply to Dara Calleary TD, Mr Bruton confirmed that Waterford hosted 31 visitors with Westmeath hosting 28.

Those to host five or less were Donegal (5), Laois and Wexford (4), Mayo (3), and Longford, Monaghan and Roscommon (2).

In a statement accompanying the figures, Mr Bruton said: "It is important to note that data on site visits is not a true measure of the level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) activity in a region or county.

Approximately 70pc of all FDI investment won by IDA Ireland comes from its existing client base. 

"Working with stakeholders is exceptionally important in positioning any regional location to attract FDI, and IDA Ireland continues to do so, as well as working with existing clients in all regional locations," said Mr Bruton.

"While IDA Ireland does attempt to influence the choice of location, the final decision as to where to visit and ultimately where to locate is taken in all cases by the investor.  

"The true measure of FDI is reflected in IDA's record 2015 results," Mr Bruton added.

"IDA client companies created just under 19,000 (18,983) jobs on the ground during the year across a range of sectors, with every region of Ireland posting net gains in jobs. Net jobs were 11,833 compared to 7,131 in the same time period last year - representing a year-on-year rise of 66pc.

Separate figures in a Dail reply provided by the Minister Bruton to Deputy Sean Fleming (FF) show that Dublin recorded the largest net gain in IDA jobs between 2011 and 2015 at 5,812 jobs.

This followed a gross gain of 8,864 jobs and a gross loss of 3,052.

The second best performing area in terms of IDA jobs - boosted by the growth of Apple in the area - was Cork where a net jobs gain of 3,429 was recorded.

The figures show that Limerick has recovered well in terms of IDA jobs following the major jobs loss at Dell in 2009.

The figures between 2011 and 2015 show that Limerick recorded a net gain of 910.

The total net gain of jobs over the period across the country was 11,833.

Irish Independent

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