IDA Ireland, has reported a very strong first half of 2018 with Investments up versus first half of last year and job approvals remaining high.
IDA expects that investments approved in the first half will lead to the creation of over 11,300 jobs as companies roll out their plans over the coming months and years. This compares with 11,000 over the same period in 2017.
Ireland won 139 projects in the first six months of the year – compared with 114 in the first half of 2017.There were 51 regional investments in the first half of the year.
Technology, Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals performed particularly strongly in the first half of the year.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “I would like to commend the IDA for what has been incredibly productive year so far for foreign direct investment. They have demonstrated a remarkable ability to reorganise and adapt themselves in response to challenges such as Brexit. With over 40 Brexit-related investments won since 2016 and strong investment flows from the Asia-Pacific region, the pipeline for FDI in Ireland remains very strong indeed.
We continue to have a compelling and attractive offering to multinational companies. Ireland has a strong pool of highly skilled workers and a first-class education system that produces top-level graduates. We have a proven track record as a successful home to global businesses and maintain a competitive and transparent taxation regime, together with a pro-enterprise environment. All of these positive characteristics allow the IDA to make a strong and effective case to prospective investors.
I am acutely aware that Ireland’s continued competitiveness is hugely important to our ongoing business and economic success. We cannot rest on our laurels in relation to the hard-won gains of recent years. I will be working hard with my colleagues across Government, in collaboration with the IDA, to help ensure that the remainder of 2018 can be just as productive.”
Martin Shanahan, IDA Ireland CEO said: “This has been another strong half for investment growth in Ireland. We are now well past the half-way point of our current Winning strategy, and I am encouraged by today’s figures. IDA Ireland operates in an extraordinarily competitive environment with all countries fighting for the same investment. All foreign investment is hard won and I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues in IDA Ireland who continue to target opportunities and pursue them, on Ireland’s behalf.”
“I am particularly encouraged by our progress in China, South Korea and India in recent months with investments from companies like Wuxi (China), SK biotek (South Korea) and Leetha (India). IDA Ireland has invested in Asia over several years now, and I’m glad see that investment paying dividends.
“As a small open economy, Ireland is heavily exposed to external geopolitical developments. The only way we can guard against this rapid change is by making sure our economy remains competitive.”
Over the course of 2018, IDA has been expanding its Brexit-focused conversations with investors across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, legal and broadcasters, all of which are looking at their arrangements following Brexit.
Businesses welcome certainty, and Ireland has been able to provide that stable environment in which to invest. IDA has been consistent in saying that stability of policy across commercial and taxation sectors has been a strong selling point for Ireland for many years.
“Brexit forms part of the backdrop to all investment engagements we have with clients these days – we estimate that in excess of 40 companies that have chosen Ireland as a result of the planned exit by the UK from the European Union, with Brexit being a factor in other decisions” said Shanahan.
The current strategy has placed a large focus on winning investments for the regions. This task remains very challenging however IDA has had some fantastic announcements in regional locations across the country in 2018 alone with 600 jobs in the Mid-West at Edwards Life Sciences, and 400 new jobs promised for Dundalk by Chinese life sciences company Wuxi Biologics. There were also two significant announcements in Longford in Avery Dennison and Red Seal Cups, bringing 300 jobs to the Midlands region.
IDA will finish its current programme of regional property investment with new Advanced Buildings in Limerick, Dundalk and Waterford.
Martin Shanahan said “IDA is making steady progress on regional investments. There have been 344 investments approved for the regions in the three and a half of the IDA’s current five year Winning strategy. This compares with 346 over the full five years of IDA’s previous strategy.”
Commenting on the first half-year trends, CEO Martin Shanahan said: “Unless Ireland stays competitive, we will not continue to see these investment numbers, it’s as simple as that. Ireland cannot be complacent about its competitiveness.”
“The last three years have seen record job creation numbers within the IDA Ireland client portfolio – there are over 210,000 directly employed in FDI companies in 2018. We cannot take this investment for granted and companies will go elsewhere unless we maintain an environment that is conducive to doing business.”
“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.”