Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan, T.D., launched ‘Horizon 2020’, IDA Ireland’s strategic blueprint for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ireland in the coming decade. She said this initiative is an integral part of the Government’s Smart Economy policy.
The Tánaiste said that the continued attraction of sustainable foreign direct investment is critical to ensuring Ireland’s economic recovery and that ‘Horizon 2020’ sets out a compelling argument for the need for ongoing ‘transformation’ in our approach to secure leading FDI here. She said that this ‘transformation’ included: within the existing FDI companies located in Ireland; within IDA Ireland itself; in how Ireland markets itself abroad; and in the way all stakeholders collaborate to ensure Ireland secures these investments.
‘Horizon 2020’ recognises that FDI success is never permanent while acknowledging such challenges create business opportunities. Companies and countries best able to continuously adapt and renew themselves will harness those opportunities. Ireland can win new investments that will create thousands of high-quality jobs across the country. These investments will come from the development of existing client companies, industries and markets. They will also originate from new types of companies, in new areas and from new markets.
‘Horizon 2020’ sets out a road-map of what is needed to fuel Ireland’s future success with leading global corporations over the coming decade. Significantly, it also outlines a series of impactful short term goals, including an ambitious target for job creation.
Investment Targets 2010-2014:
- 105,000 new jobs
- 640 investments
- 50% of investments will be located outside Dublin and Cork
- 20% of Greenfield investments originating from high-growth emerging markets by 2014
- Annual spend in excess of €1.7bn in research , development and innovation by 2014
The foundation for the strategy outlined within ‘Horizon 2020’ includes a series of new initiatives called the ‘Ten Steps of Transformation’ which are outlined in some detail in the publication.
New Initiatives – Ten Steps of Transformation
- Drive company transformation
- Win employment-intensive Services investments
- Win new forms of foreign investments
- Support regional economic development
- Increase investment from new emerging high growth markets
- Target new emerging and small technology companies
- Enhance Ireland’s brand and reputation overseas
- Embrace ‘Open Innovation’ philosophy
- Strengthen Ireland’s value proposition
- Increase collaboration within Team Ireland
IDA firmly believes that the success of the strategy depends on an unprecedented level of collaboration from all stakeholders in the Irish economic eco-system to continuously adapt: Government, IDA, sister development agencies, higher education institutes, current multinational base and indigenous entrepreneurs; who together comprise the group that IDA refers to as ‘Team Ireland’. If our past success was built on a world-leading value proposition combining our trackrecord, talent pool, tax regime and technology, our future depends on our ability to swiftly add transformation to that list of attributes in which Team Ireland needs toexcel.
The ‘Horizon 2020’ strategy concludes with a series of six Team Ireland policy enablers necessary to enhance our world-class environment to continue to attract overseas investment in the future:
- improve our competitiveness to ensure that our work practices and cost base make us a highly attractive location for a variety of employment-intensive projects with multinational companies.
- ensure our tax regime remains compelling when compared to those in other locations.
- ensure that we quickly enhance our broadband infrastructure and deploy Next Generation Networks that enable the most advanced uses of cloud computing
- technology – all across Ireland.
- ensure that Ireland’s energy infrastructure delivers world-class networks and energy at a competitive price.
- continually enhance our education system and training programmes to ensure we have a workforcewith relevant skills and that supports advanced RD&I activities.
- ensure that the regulatory environment of Ireland is fit for purpose. Regulation must be strong, credible and flexible to adapt to changing conditions to maximise the opportunities for job creation, innovation and the emergence of new sectors.