IDA hails successful year in west — with sixteen hundred extra jobs in client companies

Catherina Blewitt, West Regional Manager IDA

Catherina Blewitt, West Regional Manager IDA

IDA IRELAND, the Government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment, has announced that it had a successful year in the west region last year, with a net increase of more than 1,600 jobs in its client companies.

The announcement comes at the end of a busy year for the Authority in the region, with many jobs announcements made in the west in the past eight months, brining a variety of exciting new industries and clients to Galway and Mayo in particular. Under the stewardship of Catherine Blewitt, IDA West Regional Manager, and IDA CEO Martin Shanahan, the IDA has provided a constant flow of jobs announcements throughout 2016.

The news came this week as it announced the highest level of employment in its client companies in its history. Total employment at overseas companies now stands at 199,877 people, the highest level on record.

IDA Ireland has seen jobs growth across all of its regional locations in 2016. This result reflects an intensive focus by IDA Ireland via its five year strategy, Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019 in relation to regional dispersal of FDI investments. 59% of all employment remains outside of Dublin.

In 2016, 52 per cent of all jobs (gross ) created by IDA clients were based outside of Dublin.

While there continues to be a global trend towards FDI favouring large urban centres, IDA statistics continue to show the strength and resilience of FDI in regional locations.

IDA client companies created just under 19,000 (18,627 ) jobs on the ground during the year across a range of sectors, with every region of Ireland posting net gains in jobs.

Winning strategy delivering

IDA Ireland has completed two years of its five year strategy, Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019 - with the latest results indicating a strong performance by the organisation towards delivering its 2019 target of 80,000 new jobs and 900 investments.

The performance was produced against a background of unprecedented geopolitical changes, an underperforming European economy and intense competition from other jurisdictions for foreign direct investment.

A record number of investments secured during the year rose to 244 from 213 in the previous year. The number of new name investments went to 99 from 94 in the previous year. The strong net job creation performance of 11,842 additional jobs in Ireland is a result of a very strong pipeline of new investments and lower job losses within the employment portfolio. Losses as a percentage of the overall employment portfolio were at their lowest level in 19 years (1997 ).

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said “IDA Ireland continues to win record number of jobs of Ireland despite what has been a very unpredictable year for international investors.”Today’s results are a clear indication that the IDA’s Winning strategy is delivering. I’m especially pleased to see that the numbers in the regions are so positive this year - IDA has succeeded in achieving growth in all regions throughout Ireland in 2016.

“IDA Ireland continues to win record number of jobs of Ireland despite what has been a very unpredictable year for international investors. Today’s results are a clear indication that the IDA’s Winning strategy is delivering. I’m especially pleased to see that the numbers in the regions are so positive this year - IDA has succeeded in achieving growth in all regions throughout Ireland in 2016,” she added.

“IDA’s success in 2016 is a reminder that policy-stability is an absolutely key part of our investment offering here in Ireland. Companies like stability and consistency and I will work with Government to ensure that Ireland is in a position to compete for a large share of foreign direct investment in 2017.”

Chief Executive Officer of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan said the fact that companies have continued to invest in Ireland is testament to the quality of the offering we have here.

“That being said – we absolutely cannot be complacent about this success – we have to keep an eye on our competitiveness including costs. The contribution of the FDI sector has always been important to Ireland, but the 2016 results show that the contribution has never been greater. It is particularly welcome to see such a broad-based performance and all regions growing. International Services, Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices and Financial Services all showed significant employment increases in 2016.”

“Many of the projects won in 2016 were capital intensive (€5.5bn in cap ex in 2015i ), and provided strong additional benefits to Ireland. It would be a mistake to only think of FDI investments in terms of the number of jobs that they create directly in the company. Capital Expenditure associated with FDI investments has a huge knock-on effect for the Irish economy. This capital investment is spread throughout Ireland, with 63 per cent of capital investment happening outside of Dublin. This has a significant construction employment impact through all regions of Ireland. Sectors like pharmaceuticals, engineering and manufacturing are particularly capital intensive, often investing tens of million in developing their sites. For every ten jobs created by an IDA client company, there are seven knock-on jobs created in the wider economy.”

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