In just the first six months of 2010, IDA Ireland has secured 63 strategic investments – 20 of them Greenfield investments and 21 of them in major R&D investments – and the well-performing State agency said the pipeline to win more investments is strong.
Ireland is now one of the world’s most attractive locations for foreign direct investment (FDI), hosting operations from eight out of the top 10 ICT companies, eight out of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies and 15 of the top 20 medical device companies.
Trends behind FDI success in Ireland
The State agency said that a number of key trends are driving the current success in FDI in Ireland, including the growth in the US technology sector, growing trends in clean tech, an improvement in Ireland’s competitiveness, currency movements and an overall global recovery in FDI.
The first six months of 2010 are indicative of a country that may be down, but is not out by any means.
The country is attracting major names in the worlds of ICT, with both LinkedIn and Zynga announcing European operations in Dublin, Global Stream Services which is creating 400 jobs, and EA Games creating 200 jobs in Galway.
“A number of factors have contributed to a positive first half of 2010 for FDI,” said IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary. “Ireland’s increased competitiveness and leanings towards an upturn in the world economy combined with Ireland’s excellent corporate tax regime, talent, track record and technology capability have lead to investments in the Services Sector from Zurich, EA, Hertz, Dun and Bradstreet and Stream Global Services.
“Investments in research, development and innovation (RD&I) have come from IBM, United Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent while manufacturing announcements highlight a strong regional aspect with investments from MCi (Leitrim), Merit Medical (Galway), Warner Chilcott (Dundalk) and Valeo (Tuam) in addition to investments in Dublin announced by Lufthansa Technik and Biotrin.
“IDA’s pipeline for FDI remains positive and while we face strong competition, our focus on achieving transformation by working with client companies to promote company-wide competitiveness initiatives, technology uplift, skills uplift, research and development, process development and energy efficiency means IDA is confident of its ability to continue to secure the best in FDI for Ireland.
O’Leary continued: “Despite substantial improvements in our competitive position with reductions in labour, energy and property, continuous improvement in Ireland’s competitiveness throughout the economy is critical to the success of FDI here.”
The effect of FDI on Ireland’s economic recovery
The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Batt O’Keeffe highlighted the impact of FDI on Ireland’s economic recovery.
“FDI accounts for €110bn or over 70pc of total exports in the Irish economy, 240,000 jobs, 55pc of corporation tax, €19bn in direct expenditure, €7bn in payroll costs and 73pc of business spend on research, development and innovation.
“The agency continues to attract and secure for Ireland leading foreign direct investment that will add to Ireland’s smart economy reputation,” O’Keeffe said.