Exports by EI client companies down 10pc in 2009
That is according to Enterprise Ireland’s (EI) End of Year Statement published today. "In four of the past five months our client companies recorded growth in export orders," went the statement. "While that growth is small, client companies have risen to the challenge and this trend is encouraging when compared with the situation at the start of the year."
Entrepreneurship and investment in R&D were both ahead of target in 2009, said EI, adding that this indicated improved confidence amongst client companies as they position to address opportunities in early 2010.
73 new innovative high potential start-ups (HPSUs) were supported over the course of the year (10pc ahead of target) and 115 client companies were approved funding support for significant R&D. Although 7,400 new jobs were created by Enterprise Ireland client companies over the course of the year, there was an overall net decline of 19,000 jobs, EI reported.
"The Government has made strategic interventions to protect jobs," said Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan TD, commenting on the report. "Around 7,213 jobs were sustained in the 148 companies supported under the Enterprise Stabilisation Fund which was launched in April 2009 to support vulnerable but viable manufacturing and internationally traded services companies, with a particular focus on SMEs.
"Over 450 companies, which were approved for funding under the Government’s Employment Subsidy Scheme (Temporary), committed to maintaining approximately 36,000 full-time jobs."
Enterprise Ireland provided financial assistance to approximately 1,600 companies over 2009. €59m was approved under the Enterprise Stabilisation Fund while a further €93.6m was paid to client companies in 2009 through Enterprise Ireland’s existing supports such as the R&D and Growth funds.
"During 2009, we pursued a sustaining enterprise agenda that prioritised helping client companies through the economic crisis and client companies displayed great dedication and determination in sustaining their businesses over the past year," said Frank Ryan, chief executive officer of Enterprise Ireland (pictured).
"Many showed great energy and drive in seeking new markets abroad, and in driving down costs at home. Client companies’ commitment to R&D is stronger than at any other time in our history and the pipeline of innovative high potential start-ups is surpassing expectations. And there were many success stories that resulted in approximately €500m in new export sales.
"The answer to Ireland’s challenge remains a return to export-led growth," continued Ryan. "That is what drove the economy in the foundation stages of the boom and in Ireland, exports equals jobs. Our export engine of high quality, competitive companies is fundamental to our return to economic prosperity. It is critical that we continue to work with them, to help them stay in business and position themselves for the upturn.
"Our client companies worked extremely hard over the past year to counter the difficulties. This work and preparation will stand to them in 2010 as global markets recover. Enterprise Ireland will support them in every way possible to ensure they capitalise on the global recovery from its very first wave."
Article courtesty of Businessandleadership.com