IDA Ireland warns against complacency at launch of 2019 half-year results

20 Jun 2019157 Views

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IDA Ireland’s half-year results for 2019 show a 19pc increase in the number of jobs in the works through foreign direct investment.

At its half-year results announcement today (20 June), IDA Ireland said it has had a successful 2019 so far, winning a total of 140 projects, up from almost the same number (139) at this time last year. A total of 13,500 jobs have been approved, marking an increase of 19pc on the half-year results for 2018.

This, the Government agency said, will keep it on track to deliver its targets under its five-year ‘winning’ strategy by the end of 2019. Since its beginning, more than 455 projects have been secured to June 2019 as part of the strategy across Ireland. The biggest win for IDA Ireland so far this year was Salesforce, which announced in January that it would create 1,500 jobs in Dublin.

There has been an 32pc uplift in regional investment to date in the latest strategy, compared with the total of the previous strategy. In 2019 so far, technology, financial services and life sciences sectors have performed particularly strongly.

Graph showing the performance of IDA Ireland's strategy over the past few years.

Image: IDA Ireland

Staying competitive

With Brexit continuing to stay just on the horizon, IDA Ireland has emphasised it does not think it will so easily secure the many UK-based businesses considering a move to EU nations to stay within the union.

“IDA Ireland has consistently said that 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,” said the agency’s CEO, Martin Shanahan.

“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.”

Its new strategy will span between 2020 and 2024 in conjunction with the Government and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, to be completed in January 2020.

Looking to the future, Shanahan said that while the agency remains positive, there are many global uncertainties that could upend foreign direct investment.

“While the immediate outlook to year-end 2019 looks positive, there are significant downside risks to FDI in the medium term. These include: potential softening of growth in the global economy, the impacts of Brexit within Europe, escalating international trade tensions and Ireland’s own competitiveness.”

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com