IDA Ireland has unveiled its results for 2018, highlighting the effects of Brexit on the Irish economy.
IDA Ireland and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, have today announced that employment levels in IDA client companies have reached 229,057.
IDA Ireland’s performance has exceeded Government targets contained in its strategy for 2015 to 2019.
From regional growth to the effects of Brexit, the report outlines the agency response to changing global trends. Notably, 58pc of employment in IDA companies was outside of Dublin in 2018, which is the highest number of people employed by IDA clients in the history of the organisation.
A substantial number of Brexit-related investments were also secured in 2018, with 55 firms approved for investment, bringing with them more than 4,500 associated jobs. This strategy is likely to be continued by the IDA and Government, showing Ireland as a stable investment climate in an increasingly chaotic wider environment.
Firms such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays are among those that declared a new or expanded presence for Ireland in 2018, as the Brexit fallout continues to accumulate.
Humphreys said: “The IDA’s record results for 2018 underline how strongly Ireland continues to perform when it comes to attracting FDI.”
FDI gains in 2018
Humphreys emphasised the progress made in areas outside of Ireland’s main cities, with every region seeing employment gains in the last year. She added: “Our ongoing efforts to grow and sustain FDI here are complemented by other actions we are taking to improve the capacity and resilience of enterprise in Ireland.”
CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said: “FDI continues to drive the economy with strong employment growth at 7pc, compared to [the] national average of 3pc in 2018. FDI exports experienced growth of 10pc and an increase of 8pc in the amount spent in the Irish economy on payroll, materials and services – this now stands at over €19.2bn.”
He added that IDA client companies account for an estimated two-thirds of corporation tax in Ireland.
In 2018, total jobs at IDA client firms stood at 229,057, compared to 210,443 at the end of 2017. Job gains in 2018 stood at 22,785, up from 19,851 in 2017.
Shanahan added that while the report is to be celebrated, there are still significant risks facing Ireland in the future. “Ireland is a small, open-trading economy, and increased nationalism and protectionism [are] likely to have an impact on future FDI figures.
“10 years on from the financial crisis, the global economy continues to grow at a steady pace but the OECD says global GDP growth has peaked and is slowing on the back of weaker trade growth and less-supportive monetary and fiscal policies.”
He added that housing, skills, infrastructural investment, educational investment and income tax levels at the higher marginal rate were all issues encountered by IDA client firms.
Shanahan concluded that new technologies must be embraced by companies in order to maintain an edge. “Ireland must also prepare for a scenario where technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics play an increased part in our working lives.”