Wednesday 25 April 2018

Two-tier Ireland as foreign companies favour the capital

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

IRELAND should look to home-grown firms to provide "hope" for job creation in rural areas -- as research finds foreign firms heavily favour the Dublin region.

NUI Maynooth lecturer Chris van Egeraat has highlighted starkly unbalanced job growth throughout the country, with foreign companies preferring to set up their businesses in the 'silicon dock' and around the capital city.

Some 71pc of all employment in new foreign operations recorded last year was in the Co Dublin region, with 24 new foreign operations creating 1,147 jobs.

Mr van Egeraat pointed out the figures "paint a picture of an increasingly concentrated foreign sector" and action needed to be taken to counteract it.

"It is not Cork and Dublin verses the rest any more -- it is actually Dublin," he said.

Mayo TD Dara Calleary said the economic recovery was showing signs of being "two-speed" with regional areas missing out.


"We are struggling to bring the benefits of this recovery to the regions and that is what we need at the moment," said the Fianna Fail spokesman on jobs.

Mr van Egeraat suggested aiding indigenous companies based in regional areas might help combat the issue.

IDA Ireland, the state agency charged with bringing foreign direct investment into Ireland, is on course to deliver 13,000 jobs in client companies, with new jobs announced by firms including Facebook, eBay, Pfizer and Deutsche Bank.

An IDA spokesman said it continuously worked to make its client companies aware of opportunities outside of the Dublin, Cork and Galway areas.

The IDA stated it had not met the IDA Horizon 2020 strategy of 50pc job creation outside of the cities.

"The final decision on where to locate an investment ultimately resides with the client company, despite IDA efforts and financial support available in some regional locations," he said, adding up-to-date figures on job creation in the regions would be published shortly.

"You cannot confine companies to particular parts of the country unless it will make sense for their business. IDA wins projects for Ireland first, then particular regions or locations."

The agency pointed out it was often in competition with European cities such as Amsterdam, Manchester, Barcelona or Munich.

Irish Independent

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