Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton is coming to Ballina on Friday January 30, to discuss an enterprise strategy and jobs policy for the region with local stakeholders.
The meeting will also be attended by department officials, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the recently established Local Enterprise Office.
Fine Gael’s Deputy Michelle Mulherin said the meeting is a precursor to the planned regional enterprise strategy which, it is hoped, will mirror, at a regional level, the success of the national strategy Action Plan for Jobs.
“The objective is to encourage jobs and investment in the regions and not alone in the big urban centres,” said Deputy Mulherin.
“We have great potential for growth in the west in our tourism industry, in the agri-food sector, through our considerable track record of attracting foreign direct investment in the medical devices and bio pharmaceutical sectors both in high end manufacturing and research and development.
“What we need are the right focus and supports to overcome challenges in the development of business in our area.”
The Regional Enterprise Strategy will involve all stakeholders in the region, including government agencies and business representatives.
The strategy will also have goals and targets and will be measured to ensure it is implemented, according to Deputy Mulherin.
“Already, government agencies are working on the ground in Mayo,” she continued.
“In the past couple of years we have seen an expansion of both Hollister in Ballina with an €80 million investment, and in Allergan, Westport, with a $375 million investment.”
Deputy Mulherin said there are 18 IDA supported companies in Mayo and 152 further people employed in Enterprise Ireland supported indigenous companies.
“There are 18 IDA supported companies in Mayo. It is worth bearing in mind that 70 per cent of job creation nationally through the IDA comes from existing IDA companies.
“The Action Plan for Jobs has been a great success such that Ireland is now the fastest growing economy in Europe,” continued Deputy Mulherin.
“The Regional Enterprise Strategy is an excellent initiative now being pursued by government to enable similar growth in the regions and the Action Plan for Jobs Business Forum is an excellent way to generate further momentum for jobs and investment in our area.”