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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 21 March, 2019
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More than 55 Brexit-related investments were won by Ireland in 2018

The investments added more than 4,500 Irish jobs as employment numbers rose.

Image: MAXWELL TONY

IDA IRELAND WON more than 55 Brexit-related investments last year but warns that under no scenario is Brexit a good outcome and that some companies will be impacted.

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, said at a press conference earlier today that “given the fact we don’t know what Brexit looks like or what a future UK/EU trade deal looks like, it’s impossible to say what would happen in the future.”

The government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland also announced today that 2018 saw over 14,000 net jobs created with FDI employment – its highest level on record at 229,057 employed.

Despite losses of nearly 9,000 jobs last year in client employment, Shanahan said he couldn’t identify if those jobs and other FDI company losses were related to Brexit. 

“Can I rule that out? No I can’t, but we will be doing everything in our power to ensure that there aren’t losses due to Brexit,” he said.

He said most companies in their portfolio are well prepared for worst-case scenarios.

Mentioning conversations he’s had with some pharmaceutical companies, he said they have made adjustments to their supply chains and logistics in order to avoid any hurdles that might arise from different Brexit outcomes.

2018 also saw the agency win new or expand previous companies presence in Ireland like the Bank of America, Barclays, Citi Group and Morgan Stanley.

Regional Areas

The job growth from FDI companies was shown to have grown outside of Ireland’s major cities, with 58% of IDA client-supported jobs now located outside Dublin. 

Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said, “we will be doing everything possible in 2019 to encourage more firms to invest further in the regions.”

Shanahan also added that continuing to grow Dublin is a key factor in order for the rest of the country to thrive.

“A strong capital city and strong regions are required to win investment,” he said.

Over the last four years 407 investments have been won for regions, creating almost 27,000 net jobs, while employment rose in the midlands by 14% and 8% in the west.

Potential upsets 

The agency said current trends in depressed investment flows may continue due to geo-political situations like trade wars.

He said the health of the US economy is also important due to the large amount of investments that come from the United States into Ireland.

Having the Irish economy maintain its competitiveness is key, and concerns have been raised around housing, investment in education, income tax levels at a high rate and skills in the labour market.

This year IDA Ireland will begin developing its new five year strategy for 2020-2024 and will see the agency looking into further opportunities in Canada, Turkey, Israel and the UAE.

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