While decades of enticing foreign direct investment has undoubtedly paid off in terms of job creation, successive governments have been far less supportive of domestic industries, despite evidence that, given a level playing field, they can be just as successful as foreign enterprises.
Among the major Irish-based players internationally are Cement Roadstone Holdings, Development Capital Corporation, Ardagh Glass, Smurfit Kappa, Ryanair, Kerry Group, Total, Musgrave, Kingspan, and Primark.
The combined turnover of these firms is well over €100bn. Along with them, there are thousands of smaller enterprises that also play a significant role in the Irish economy and deserve support.
A prime example of a local enterprise with a global reach is Fexco, based in Killorglin, Co Kerry.
One of the country’s longest-established financial services and technology companies, it provides more than 1,000 well-paid jobs in the town.
It is now partnering with Kerry County Council and the Institute of Technology in Tralee to create more than 300 jobs over the next four years.
Fexco has opened a €21m research and development facility in Killorglin. It will house a not-for-profit research, development and innovation hub backed by Fexco, IT Tralee and Kerry County Council.
We salute Fexco’s past and current achievements and look forward to even greater things in the years ahead.