Further jobs dividend likely as IDA secures 4,500 jobs from Brexit fallout

Further jobs dividend likely as IDA secures 4,500 jobs from Brexit fallout
Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland, saying a few words at the IDA Ireland Performance Highlights 2018. PIC: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

The IDA expects to attract further investment from overseas companies on the back of mounting Brexit uncertainty.

Last year saw a record level of job creation by IDA-backed multinational companies in Ireland and the lowest level of job losses on record.

Total employment across multinational companies in Ireland now stands at 229,057 having grown by 9% in the past 12 months. After combined job losses of 8,745, 2018 closed with a net new multinational jobs total of 14,040.

The numbers mean the IDA has exceeded the targets laid out in its current five-year plan a year ahead of completion. Its next five-year targets will be outlined by the end of this year.

The IDA said it has secured more than 55 investments - leading to more than 4,500 jobs - directly as a result of post-Brexit location decisions by companies. A total of 42 of the Brexit-related moves were by companies investing in Ireland for the first time.

IDA chief Martin Shanahan said a Brexit "dividend" is being seen in all jobs and investment announcements and the number of first-time investors choosing Ireland as a location because of Brexit is likely to increase.

"At the moment we are seeing significanat amounts of interest in Ireland because companies coming into Europe feel the UK to be less attractive as it was previously," he said.

The IDA said it was not aware of any Brexit-related reasoning behind last year's multinational job loss figures, emphasising the level seen was the lowest on record.

Investment into Ireland by European-based companies grew by 25% last year, with investments from growth markets rising by 14% and investment from US firms increasing by 7%.

The US, however, remains the IDA's key focus market and Mr Shanahan said there has been no indication of US interest in Ireland waning despite a likely correction pending in the US economy and global foreign direct investment (FDI) levels slowing.

That said, he did warn of "significant downside risks" to Ireland's FDI attractiveness in the form of Brexit, global trade wars and the "extremely competitive" landscape for such investment across Europe.

"It is important to remember that only ten years ago, across 2008 and 2009, Ireland lost over 35,000 FDI jobs during the global financial crisis. This is a salutary reminder that we can take nothing for granted and we need to be vigilant, particularly in relation to our competitiveness. All jobs are fought for and won against increasing international competition," Mr Shanahan said.

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