Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
135. Deputy Seán Connick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on the role that exports produced by foreign companies located here play in the Irish economy; her further views on the importance of assisting these companies to access new export markets for their Irish produced products; if she will instruct Enterprise Ireland to promote the export of these Irish products; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17586/09]
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Mary Coughlan): Enterprise Ireland is the government agency responsible for the development and promotion of the indigenous business sector. Its mission is to accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity. Enterprise Ireland’s key focus, for companies headquartered in Ireland, is covered under five areas of activity : Achieving export sales, Investing in research and innovation, Competing through productivity, Starting up & scaling up and Driving regional enterprise. Enterprise Ireland estimates that export gains of up to €1 billion will be achieved by its client companies this year despite the unprecedented global economic environment.
IDA Ireland’s mission is to win for Ireland the best in international innovation and investment and, working in partnership with other Irish organisations, to enhance the best of Irish capabilities and talents and match them to the best of global investment. Foreign direct investment is a key component of Ireland’s economic system and IDA Ireland will continue to develop new value propositions and work processes that will reflect Ireland’s competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive market place. FDI is a key driver of Irish exports and is an important element of Ireland’s economic recovery. IDA supported exports have grown by c.50% since 2000 and account for 60% of total Irish Exports. IDA Ireland provides a range of financial incentives to support capital, employment, training, research, development and innovation activity as well as advice, facilitation and property services to prospective and existing clients in an effort to grow FDI. In 2008, IDA announced 130 new investments, up 14% on the previous year creating circa 8,800 new jobs and securing investment of circa €2 billion.
As regards assistance to access export markets many such supports are available to FDI companies operations in Ireland, although some efforts are confined to SMEs or are relevant only to companies headquartered in Ireland. I have asked IDA and Enterprise Ireland to review their operations to ensure that FDI companies can avail of all supports appropriate to their circumstances.
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